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Full text of "Speech of Hon. William H. Haywood, of North Carolina, on the Oregon question. Delivered in the Senate of the United States, March 4 & 5, 1846"

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The Joint Resolution for giving the notice to termi- 
nate the convention beWeen the United States 
and Great Britain relative to the Oregon Terri- 
tory, being under consideration — 

Mr. HAYWOOD addressed the Senate as fol- 

Mr. Pkesident: The subject before the Senate is 
an important one. Viewed in connexion with the 
topics that have been brought into the discussion 
of it, it is one of momentous interest; and I confess 
that its magnitude ojipresses me. My want of ex- 
perience in political aifairs naturally made me reluc- 
tant to enter into it as a speaker, when I must 
necessarily feel, in addition to the high responsibili- 
ties of the occasion itself, the embarrassment of 
addressing those who are my seniors in age and 
in political knowledge. Besides, I have thought 
that a silent vote, could it have been obtained, 
would be much more imposing. But the occur- 
rences of the last few week.s have left me no choice. 
Silence would now be a compromise with my con- 
science and my duty to the country, and I must 
speak. It will take me some time, but I throw 
myself upon the patience of the Senate, with a 
pledge that my heart shall be opened sincei-ely, 
at this the council board of our common country; 
I have no actions of the past to explain, and no 
aspirations for the future to restrain me; and if 
God gives me strength and utterance for the work, 
I will do my whole duty according to my poor 

The President of the United States, who is au- 
thorized by the Constitution to make, but not to 
unmake treaties, has a negotiation on foot which 
was commenced or opened before his term of office 
began. The object of it has been to fix a line of 
division by compromise between the United States 
and Great Britam, and thereby to adjust the con- 
flicting claims of the two Governments to the ter- 
ritory lying west of the Stony mountains, common- 
ly called OREGON. I assume for the present — 
hereafter I will demonstrate — that in the view of our 
President, as well as the British Minister, the ne- 
gotiation is still a pending one. The assumption 
IS warranted by every incident of the subject in this 
country and in Great Britiiin, except the absurd 
conclusions and unauthorized constructions given 
by some of my own party friends to the Message 

of the President. And it is confirmed beyond all 
fixir doubt by the silence of the President upon that 
point, when, if the negotiation had terminated, Ex- 
ecutive silence would be unpardonable — the more 
especially as his jurisdiction over the subject will 
cease the moment negotiation ends. The negoti- 
ation once closed, concluded, put an end to, by the 
Executive, and all the remaining questions about 
OREGON will become forthwith subjects of legis- 
lation by Congress exclusively. 

But to proceed. At the meeting of Congress in 
December, the negotiators of the two Governments 
had been unable to agree upon a compromise of 
their conflicting claims, and the President, believing 
that, under the existing convention of 1827, the 
United States cannot " rightfully assert or exercise 
exclusive jurisdiction over any portion of the ter- 
ritory" without giving a year's notice, declared to 
Congress that, in his judgment, it would be proper 
to give the notice; and thereupon by his Message 
he recommended that provision be made by law for 
giving it accordingly, and terminating " in this man- 
ner'' the convention of the 6th August, 1827. This 
then is the question: What shall we do? 

The Message of the President was accompanied 
by a copy of all the correspondence which had taken 
place in the negotiation; and we have subsequent- 
ly been furnished, by our request, with such fur- 
ther correspondence as had taken place in it up to 
February, 1846. In the meanwhile, various propo- 
sitions ia the Senate, emanating from individual 
Senators, but not from the Executive, have been of- 
fered and proposed; and it is true, as some honor- 
able Senator said the other day, that we have exhib- 
ited the singular spectacle in this Capitol of a dis- 
cussion by Congress with open doors of nearly all 
the foreign affairs of the nation, and more especial- 
ly of our affairs with Great Britain upon this very 
subject of the Oregon territory, although, at the 
same time, negotiations have been going on at the 
Executive department with the British Minister; 
and it was rather intimated than charged, that the 
President was to blame for it. Now, in the spirit 
of kindness which characterized this complaint, 
suffer me, a friend of the Administration, to an- 
swer why I do not concur in it, and how I suppose 
the sendmg of this correspondence here may be 
The President, believing that the convention of 

1827 had better 1)0 abrogated, \vc know that he 
could do that in either one of two ways, but in no 
otlier. Either he must get an agreement wiili 
Great BriUiin to abrogate it by mutual consent, and 
tlien Congress n(;ed not be apphed to at all: or he 
nmst get the mandate of a iaui, authorizing him 
to give a year's notice. The first mode was not 

The other manner of doing it is by a laio of 
this Government; and the President recommended 
to Congress— Congress alone being competent to 

would in such a case talk less, but deliberate and 
then act. Perhaps he thought that, upon a question 
of this kind, the necessity he was put under to dis- 
close what was done by the Executive before he had 
terminated negotiations would hardly be made a 
pretext for snatching negotiations out of his hands, 
which he did not recommend, instead of enactmg a 
law to arm him with a notice that he did recom- 
mend. How for he was mistaken, if he did so 
feel and so think, need not be said to this Senate. 
The events .>f the last few weeks speak for them- 

enact it-that provision be made for giving the | selves. Believing that, so far as the President has 
notice accordingly, and for tenninating, " in tliis , been concerned, the British Government 'las go 
manner^ the convention of 1827. Can it be said | no advantage of us, I confers I did feel mortified 
that the President erred in choosing " this manner" j in reading the news by th^lTjst steamer at the ne- 
of terminating the convention, it being the only i cessity of conceding to the debates of the Jintish 
mode by which that object could be legitimately : Parliament a decided superiority over those ot our- 
accomplislicd without closing his negotiations for selves in their dignity and moderation; audit would 
a compromise? The complaint against the Mes- be quite a satisfaction to me to get news by the 
sa-e implies he had no intention to do that. It next packet of an outrageous debate in the briiish 
bemg indispensable to apply to Congress for a Parliament; at sufficient to put us even with 
law to give the notice, was it not both proper and ; them on that r^^ore. 1 cannot help wishing it may 
necessary to communicate to Congress everything be so. 

that had taken place in the negotiation, as far as , [Some Senator: " 'Tis likely you II be grat- 
it had progressed when the President made his j ified."] , , ^ , . . ,, „,|,^, ,u.,, 
recommendation' But surely the fault is not altogether that 

The case is a peculiar one; but that peculiarity 1 of the President. Had he known ever so well 
did not arise out of anything that this Adminis- ; that his recommendation to legislate, il Longress 
tration has done, but altogether from the con- 1 saw fit, so as to help his progress in negoludion, 
venlion it is desired to abrogate, and the limited ' would be misconstrued into an invitation tor all 

constitutional power of the American Execu- 
tive. Look to the Message itself, and you see 
notliing in it either more or less than what the 
President was, in a great degree, obliged to dis- 
close to the legislative department under the pecu- 
liar circumstances of the subject. That Congress 

sorts of interference by Congress v.-ith the more 
appropriate duties of the Executive, he would 
hardly have been justified by it to omit all or any 
one thing w^hich he has done. He has, as I un- 
derstand his Message, but done his duty, and 
no more, and he dared not do less. I hope Sena- 

mi-ht determine this question of notice, they must : tors will see in all this an excuse, for the Presi- 
know the state and condition of the negotiation, i dent, if they do not find in it a justification, for 
Thev would know that best by sending up all the ; his Messao:e to Congress cnmmumcattng the corre- 
correspondence; and in order that they might sec , spondencc n-lth the Britkh .Minister. That the Presi- 
and iud^'e for themselves, the President communi- i dent sent this Message to Congress might be excu- 
rated to^'Con-ress the ichole correspondence which sed indeed for other reasons, without a heavy ax 
had talcen place. He has done no more, and he is upon our charity. He was bound to presume ha 
responsible for nothing more. . Congress arc wise and prudent legislators; that 

Had he any ri-ht to suppose that this would be t they would say nothing to embarrass negotiations 
made the foundation for violent invective and irre- ] unless Congress really wished to defeat ncsotiatwn; 
gular discussions, and for all the propositions that , and even in that, he may have thought that, 
have followed it.' If he had apprehended any , as by the Corstitution treaty-making belonged to 
.-^uch consequences, would that have authorize'd the President under the advice of the Senate, his 
liim to withhold the recommendation of a mea- , own "fl-iends," without any recommendation from 
sure of Ic'-islalion which he deemed to be essential ! him, would long ago have proposed and votea 

to the interest of the nation, and which he may 
have supposed to be important to the peace of 
the country ? Upon making such a recommenda- 
tion, how could he conceal the intbrmation that 
was necessary to aid Congress in considering it? 
Had he any means .if foii-soeiiig that this simple 
act of necessary duty on the part of the Execu- 
tive would be perverted into an occasion for de- 
bating, not the question of notice or r ^'•''- 

' directly " that the President shall be advisep by 
the Se.vate that he is mistaken in sujiposing the 
nation committed itself to any compromise, and 
that the negotiation upon that basis ought to be 
concluded, "if that indeed be the decision of the peo- 
ple." That would be DOING something. 

I do not affirm that tlie President thought all this, 
or any of il. Yet another thing has struck my 
>wn mind with some force, and possibly it might 

which proiipflv belonss to the Legislative depart- | nut have Iieen without its influence upon the Presi- 
mciit but also" our ne-oliations with Great Britain, i dent. When he came into office, he declared his 
when her Mi.iisier is in the city and even in the | belief that our title to Oregon was "clear and un- 

lobby of the Capitol, and our foreign relations and 
our grievances, real or sunposed, with all the king- 
doms of the earth, which legitimately belong to the 
Executive depart ineiit ? Perhaps, he felt a strong 
reliance upon the prudence, moderation, and wis 
dom of Congress— the assembled Representatives 

questionable." In prosecuting the negotiation, 
found it to be his duty to offi-r a line of compro- 
mise at 49, and to give up James K. Polk's opin- 
ion to the President's obligation to preserve na- 
tional honor. From some cause or other the public 
mind had been pre-occupied with the belief that 

of the people' and the Slates— and hoped that they this oflcr had not been made by him 

But as it 

hail been made, the President mi^lit have felt, 
and probably he did feel, a solicitude at the meet- 
ing qf Congress to tell the whole — to let out the 
secret — and" to prevent, if he could, clamors or cal- 
umny upon the subject. Had the President dread- 
ed the same clamors, and sought to avoid, by such 
a disclosure, denunciations like those which have 
been unceasingly poured out upon the heads of the 
great men who negotiated and voted for the Wash- 
ington treaty, I am sure the Senate would not 
blame him much for it — not vcnj much. That 
Washington treaty seems to have become a favor- 
ite hobby. Perhaps it is to be kept agoing until it 
can fjet company. It may be that the President did 
not wish to furnish the companion for it by keep- 
ing his " friends" unapprized of the important fact 
that he had offered a compromise. I should not 
wonder at it, if he did not. As it is, that thunder 
will all be spoiled, as far as concealment goes. 

I have seldom heard a discussion, Mr. Presi- 
dent, about our territorial rights in any quarter, 
that Benton's speech against Webster's treaty 
M-as not re-produced. A new edition of an old 
speech, abridged to be sure, but not improved. 
Our politicians seem determined to convince the 
vvorld abroad, and the people at home, whether 
or not, that our nation is always overreached, 
cheated, and disgraced. But why do this, if at 
all, long after a treaty has been solemnly ratified 
by a vote of 39 to 9 ! in the American Senate? Let 
not Senators give their aid to it, I say, as we love 
one another or the country. I utter no complaints 
against the speech itself of my honorable friend 
from Missouri, [Mr. Benton.] Like everything 
else that comes from him here, it was eloquent. 
It was in season and at the right time when he 
made it. The occasion which called it forth has 
now passed, and along with it the strong excite- 
ments under which the speech was made. The 
constitutional authorities of the Government over- 
ruled his objections, and it is no disparagement to 
the fame of the speech or of that Senator to be- 
lieve that his noble and generous heart would be 
a!)le to see now (and his manly character would 
let him own it) that there was quite enough of 
invective and suspicion in the speech when it 
was made. I know not how he feels under 
its repetition, with or without notes, but I have 
admired the patience of Senators implicated 
by denunciations about the Washington treaty, 
and wondered how they could silently endure it. 
Certainly, when such things are introduced here, 
they are in exceeding bad taste, and very like what 
a venerated friend of mine used to call the dullest 
thing in the world to listen at — " old psalmn sung 
over (lend horses." Out of the Senate, it is the 
game by which great men of this nation are to be 
killed off, and more room left for exalting little 
men to big offices. 

But, Mr. President, let all this be as it may, 
and let it be right or wrong in the. President to 
liave sent his Message, and the infonnation in it, 
to the Congress of the United States: he has 
done it — the act is past recall. The subject is be- 
fore the Senate, and with all its embarrassments, it 
has become necessary for the Senate to act upon it, 
and, in my judgment, the sooner we do that, the 
better for the country. 

In order to act aright we must look to the Presi- 
dent's Messages, and see for ourselves what po- 

sition he occupies. I agree entirely with some 
other Senators that we cannot take our position 
upon this question of the notice until we see the 
position of the President. See it, I mean, with 
a reasonable certainty; as positive certainty cannot 
be arrived at, and cannot be expected. If he means 
to negotiate for a compromise, or if there be a pend- 
ing negotiation, it would be unwise, unprecedent- 
ed, and indelicate, for the President, either him- 
self directly, or indirectly through another person, 
to declare beforehand any determination of his 
own mind upon questions to arise in the further 
progress of such a negotiation. I shall, in justice 
to him, have occasion to point out to the Senate 
hereafter how I think this silence — this necessary 
silence — proves'almost of itself that his " thoughts 
are turned on peace." 

But what is the position of the President in this 
negotiation ? About it there would be less doubt if 
there had been less effort to assign the President 
an extreme position, and a false position. What 
say the " records?" Where does he stand? We 
must see before we fling him the notice to terminate 
the convention of 1827. 

First, we all know that the President — whose 
assent is indispensable — will not agree to an arbitra- 
tion. I do not stop to defend or to accuse him for 
this; it belongs to some other occasion. If, in 
the Providence of God, this Oregon controversy 
should terminate in a conflict, the responsibility of 
having rejected arbitration will be a fearful one, and 
he will have to meet it. But the responsibility has 
been taken by him. The Senate, therefore, must 
now proceed upon it as a fact, a " fixed fact," that 
arbitration is out of the question. We cannot 
help it if we would, and I owe it to candor to say, 
that I would not if I could. 

Well, then, we have seen in his Message that 
Great Britain made an offer of compromise, which 
was rejected by the American Government, in 
August, 1844, and the President has informed 
Congress plainly and distinctly that this British 
proposition to us cannot be entertained by him, but 
that it is " wholly inadmissible." So far there is 
no difficulty. Everything is plain and directly to 
the point, as it ought to be. 

Next, we are informed by the Message that the 
President himself made an offer to Great Britain by 
which the territory of Oregon between the paral- 
lels of 42° and .54° 40' was proposed to be divided 
by a compromise on the line of 49°, and that the 
British Minister rejected it without submitting any 
other proposition, &c. This offer of our Presi- 
dent was made on 12th of July, 1845 — refused on 
the 2Dlh of the same month. But on .30th August , 
1845, the President withdrew his rejected proposi- 
tion, and reasserted, by his letter to the British 
Minister, our claim and title to the whole of Or- 
egon — irhich letter has not been anstrered ! 

The President does not say that the negotiation 
has 6ecn abandoned, nor that it will be concluded by 
him without waiting to receive another offer. No 
such thing. He does not inform Congress that he 
will or will not renew, or that he will or will not 
entertain, his own offer, which he adopted as that 
of the nation, for a compromise. I repeat, that it 
was, under the circumstances, impossible for him 
to do that, provided he considered compromise 
still ADMISSIBLE. But he does say that he has 
receded, notwithstanding his opinion as to title, to 


llu; line of 49° 05 a compromise, and his reasons 
for it arc given — reasons quite as conclusive in 
favor of accepting the ofler now as they were for 
mating it last year! And as I understand the 
Presicfent's position, he stands this day upon lliat 
line of 490 as a compromise, if COMPROMISE is 
to be had. Once for all, let me explain, that when 
I liave spoken or shall hereafter speak of the 
"compromise line 0/49"^," 1 do by no means intend 
to be understood litcralltj. But I mean that line 
in substance — not " every inch" — I mean the same 
compromise siibstantially which this Government 
has frequently oH'cred without regard to slight 
variations; which may be left for settlement by 
"equivalents." I do not measure my own or 
other people's patriotism by the " inch." I shall 
not recognise tliat measurement in deciding upon 
the merits of the Administration or tlie wisdom 
of a treaty — not at all, at idl. 

Mr. President, / disnvoxo anij a'.Uhorihj to speak 
FOR the President. I have already said that he 
could not speak for himself, nor authorize another 
to speak /or him, so long as negotiation was pend- 
ing, or not concluded. Oh! I wish it were so that 
he could speak out. But I must be allowed to 
speak for myself since the Administration has 
been so perscveringly ]uit where I ought not to 
stand by it; and I will dare to speak to the Presi- 
dent, and o/ihe President and his Messages, from 
my station upon this floor, as I judge him and 
them. And I say, in answer to certain Senators of 
my party, that the President did right, exactly 
right, in continuing this negotiation for a compro- 
mise which he found on foot, and in renewing the 
offer q/'49°fls a line of compromise. And in reply to 
them further, I say that he ought not, and my con- 
victions are as strong as death itself that he can- 
not, will not, disgrace himself and his Administra- 
tion by refusing /lis oicn offer, should it be returned 
upon him — refusing, I mean, to entertain it; repuls- 
ing it, and rashly putting a final termination to his 
negotiation for a peaceful compromise; and madly 
forcing liis country into a war, without even con- 
sulting liis constitutional advisers, the Senate; 
who are this day assembled. Yet that is said of 
him day after day in this Senate. A war for what ? 
Why, Mr. President, a war between two great 
Christian nations upon the meaning of the word 
scltlemcnls in the Nootka convention! A war, 
perhaps, of twenty years, to determine which of 
these Christian Governments shall enjoy the privi- 
lege of cheating the poor Indians out of the largest 
portion of Oregon. No, sir; no, sir. The Presi- 
dent will not do that. As he loves his country, 
and values his own fiime, he dare not think of it. 

But I have said the President did right in oficring 
a compromise of this controversy. Other friends of 
this Administration have said he did wrong, par- 
ticularly the Senators from Ohio, [iMr. Allen,] 
Indiana, [Mr. Hannjega-v,] and Illinois, [Mr. 
Breese.] Friends and enemies, (if he has an ene- 
my here,) will you hear another frif nd in his de- 
fence.' It is a serious charge, if it bf: true. What 
arc the facts? Let be tried by these, and there 
can be no doubt of the decision. Hear them. 

He found it in ouro«n history a fact, an undenia- 
ble fact, that, so long ago as forty years, in negotia- 
tions between thi.i (jJ(jvcrnment and Great Britain, 
the United States had maintained and asserted that 
the true line of our national rifrhts, west of tlie 

Stony mountains, was at the 49th parallel on the 
north, in virtue of the treaty of Utrecht, and of 
our treaty with France in 1P03. He found that it 
was urged by our Government upon the oppo- 
site parly as a fact, too, tliat commissioners had 
j been appointed to designate the line west of th' 
' Stony mountains, constituting the south bound- 
ary of Great Britain and the north boundary of 
France, who sold us Louisiana; and that that line 
had been settled at 49°; and this fact Avas assumed 
as the basis of very important negotiations at that 
time in progress between us and Great Britain. Hf 
knew that this was in the days of Jcflerson ami 
his compatriots. 

•Aofcof/i/, / believe, ever susjjecled Jefferson of being 

He found that, in subsequent efforts to adjust 
this long-pending controversy, to wit, in 1817J the 
American Government had proposed this same 
compromise line at 49°, (suostantially, I mean, 
not in all its details.) And although our Minis- 
ters were instructed to insist upon it, they were 
unable to get the consent of Great Britain; and 
that negotiation finally tenninated in a convention 
for what we call a joint occupancy of the whole 
territory, entered into, I believe, by our request, 
and cert;\inly done with our oon^ent, which con- 
vention was to continue for ten years, and no 
longer. That convention was sent to the Senate, 
icith all the corresnondence, and it was ratified and 
approved by a vote of ayes, 38; noes, none — all 

He found that this convention was not satisfac- 
tory; but the Government of the United States 
grew anxious to settle and adjust the line of di- 
vision between us and the European Governments 
claiming territorial rights west of the Stony moun- 
tains. Russia and Great Britain both asserted 
rights there. Russia furnished pretty strong signs 
of the Emperor's intention to maintain hers against 
all the world. The American Government, (after 
a long delay, growing out of our policy towards 
Spain, whom we did not wish to oflcnd by setting 
up our claims prematurely,) finally acceded to a 
pro]iosal of opening negotiations with Russia and 
Great Britain about 1824, for a line of com]iro- 
mise. Our Ministers were instructed to get this 
line adjusted upon a compromise with both nation- 
at the 49th parallel, and we hoped at one time to 
unite Great Britain with us against Russia. But 
Groat Britain, although a " joint occupant" with 
us, managed her dijdomacy Ijcttcr than that, and 
after the United States had agreed with Russia t<i 
abandon all our rights, viz : " not to settle" north 
of the parallel of 54° 40', his Majesty the King of 
England, &c., made a separate treaty with the 
Emperor of Russia, and took to himself a large 
share of irhat we had siiiremlercd ! [Our 54° 40' 
friends ought to go for it all back again, according 
to their doctrines, and perhaps England, with Rus- 
sia to help her, would favor us with a fight, and 
that's something.] In ouj- negotiation of that con- 
vention with Russia, and in our attempts to nego- 
tiate at that time with Great Britain, the American 
Government yielded up her claims between 54" 40' 
and 61'^ unto Russia. (What an 
and disgraceful dismemberment!) And the same 
old comin'omise line, substantially that which t!i< 
President re-ofl*ered in 1845, was tendered to Grear 
Britain and declined — urged and refused ! [How 

one's ^mencfflu blood boils at the thought of ceding 
an inch !] The treatjr with Russia, which, in the 
view of Senators, so dishonorably and unconstitu- 
tionally dismembered the national domain, (for the 
benefit of crowned heads too !) was submitted to 
the American Senate, and, icith a full knoiclcdge 
of the correspondence, the Senate approved it all, by 
a vote of ayes, 41 ! no, 1 ! 

["Who was it?" exclaimed several voices. 
" Where was he from'?"] 

Sns. Rhode Island. His name was D 'Wolf. 
All " British," save one ! 

In passing, the Senate will suffer me to say that 
this treaty with Russia was made within the very 
year succeedingthe famous declaration of President 
Monroe's Message against new European colonies 
on this continent ! Made by him. It is of itself 
a contemporaneous construction of the meaning 
attached to that declaration. Attention is due to the 
names of the forty-one Senatoi-s who approved 
of it ! There are illustrious names in that list; but 
I have not time to go into such details; and if I 
had, the Senate would hardly have patience to hear 
me through. 

The President further found that our importu- 
nity to fix upon the line of 49° as a compromise 
was again manifested as soon as the convention of 
1818 was likely to expire; and that, in the corre- 
spondence preceding that identical convention of 
1827, which it is our present wish to abrogate by 
a notice, the American Minister was instructed to 
adjust the controversy at this same line of 49°; 
and the convention was made only because that 
compromise line could not be got. That corre- 
spondence also was laid before the Senate along 
with the convention of 1827, where, in despite of 
the opposition of my honorable friend from Mis- 
souri, [Mr. Benton,] and in defiance of his pre- 
dictions, the convention was approved by a vote of 
ayes 31, noes 7. 

The " British^' party seems to have been still a 
strong party in the American Senate ! The names 
of some of them stood high on the rolls of Democ- 
racy, and some are now in high places. I will not 
tax the patience of the Senate by reading them 

He found that, under the Administrations suc- 
ceeding the ratification of this convention — all of 
them — Adams's, Jackson's, Van Buren's, Harri- 
son's, and Tyler's, too — we made no complaint of 
Great Britain about Oregon, and sounded no alarm 
to the people to prepare for a repudiation of our 
own offers to compromise "an inch " below 54° 40' ; 
but quietly submitted to let things remain as they 
were, until October, 184.3, when the Message in- 
forms us that our Minister in London was au- 
thorized to make an offer of compromise similar 
to those made by us in 1817 and 1827; in other 
words, to renew our offer of the compromise line 
of 49°. Thus stood the question when the nego- 
tiation was transferred to Washington. Here I beg 
the Senate to observe that Mr. Tyler's Message, in 
December, 1S43, informed Congress that " the ne- 
gotiations for an adjustment and settlement had 
again been proposed, and were in progress to a re- 
sumption." Yes, proposed by us; and the Presi- 
dent said that " every proper expedient would be 
resorted to for the purpose of bringing it to a speedy 
and happy termination." And again, by his Mes- 
sage to Congi-Gss, in December, 1844, he said, " A 

' negotiation has been formally entered upon be- 
' tween the Secretary of State" and her Britannic 
' Majesty's Minister, &c., residing at Washington, 
' relative to the rights of their respective nations 
' in and over the Oregon territory. That negotia- 
' tion is still pending."" This, too, after Mr. Polk's 
election — after the Baltimore Convention of 1844. 
But nowhere could the President find that any of the 
" true friends of Oregon" had recorded their oji}io- 
sition to it by their votes in Congress. If he 
did, it is more than I can find. The Senators from 
Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, [Messrs. Ai.i.en, Han- 
NEGAN, and Breese,] were all Senators at the time. 
No, Mr. President; the Senate did not advise nor 
protest against negotiation when it was only " in pro- 
gress to a resumption," nor had Senators brought 
themselves up to the point, so far as I know, of 
only moving, so late as two years ago, whilst there 
was time and opportunity for it, to stop the nego- 
tiation itself, which has now become so unconsti- 
tutional and so dishonorable to the nation. 

But again: He found that these persevering 
efforts to fix our northern boundary in Oregon at 
the forty-ninth parallel by a compromise — these 
well-considered instructions to our Ministers, and 
often-repeated propositions to the adverse claim- 
ants for a compromise — made before Spain had 
released her rights, and repeated afterwards — wei-e 
long since exposed to the public eye; and that 
neither the People's Representatives in Congress, 
nor the States, nor the People themselves, had 
complained against the Presidents, and States- 
men, and Senators, who had been endeavoring to 
accomplish a compromise at 49° for nearly half a 
century. No, sir. Until very recently, indeed, 
the complaints, when made at all, were aimed at 
Great Britain for refusing to acce]5t this reasonable 
and just compromise of our conflicting claims. 
Memorials, when sent at all, were ajiplications to 
settle and adjust the controversy; and our efforts 
to legislate over the subject were confined to the 
valley of the Columbia river — this side of 49°. _ 

Well might the President pause, then, notwith- 
standing his own individual opinion that our title 
to the whole of Oregon was " clear and unques- 
tionable," ere he took the responsibility, in view 
of all this, of abruptly putting a stop to the nego- 
tiation which he found on foot, as it had been be- 
gun by his immediate predecessor tipon a negotia- 
tion for a compromise. Well might he feel that th<; 
NATION was committed to a compromise. Well 
might he dread that, for him to put his personal 
opinion upon the streijgth of our pajjer title, how- 
ever "clear and unquestionable," against all these 
solemn acts of the Government, and against this 
concurrent action and acquiescence of all our Pres- 
idents from Jefferson inclusive, and of all our 
Statesmen, and of all our Senators, (except iNIr. 
D'Wolf,) and of all our People and their Repre- 
sentatives for two generations — constituting, as 
it were, a nation's opinion — would be sacri- 
ficing the faith, consistency, sincerity, and honor 
of this country to jH-cserve the personal consist 
en cy of himself— a single man! A mere politi- 
cian might have halted, bnt a statesman could 
not. He lifted himself above himself, and showed 
how well he merits the office hi.s country has 
appointed him to fill. God grant he may stand 
firm to his position ! 
And what "commits" a Nation but its honor ? 


Honor! Ntitional honor! But its obligations must 
he felt, and are iiot a topic for argument and debate 
in an American Senate. I have imperfectly group- 
ed the facts from our own history. Senators must 
determine for themselves. Appealing to (heir he.urts 
as monitors, I ask whether I was not justified in 
asserting that the President did right in offering 
the line of 49° as a compromise, because the Nation 
was thus committed to it by the past. 

But the Senator from Illinois [IMr. Breese] 
has said, the question was " a new one so far as it 
concerned the President," because Ae had a clear 
opinion that our title was good, and gave that 
opinion before his nomination; and he seems to 
think that the Baltimore Convention of the Demo- 
cratic party had resolved this matter out of the 
general rule and made it a neio one to this Admin- 
istration. Strange proposition ! Passing strange ! 
Of the Baltimore Convention I shall speak here- 
after. And now as to Mr. Polk's opinion upon 
our title. However clear and whensoever entertain- 
ed or expressed, let me say that Mr. Polk's opin- 
ion, nor the opinions of the Baltimore Conven- 
tion, nor those of the People themselves, upon 
the title to Oregon, touch tliis question. All that, 
has just nothing at all to do with it. If the char- 
acter, and sincerity, and faith, and honor of the 
Nation, were committed to a compromise before 
Mr. Polk was elected, they remained so, notwith- 
standing his election, and notwithstanding his 
opinion, or anybody's opinion, upon our title. 

The men who become Presidents of the Repub- 
lic are always changing; they live and die, but the 
Republic is the same at all times; and once com- 
mitted by the public faith and honor to do or not 
TO DO, even the People cannot release the obliga- 
tion by anything short of Revolution, if they could 
by such an extreme measure as that. The ques- 
tion, then, is not, and was not, a " new one to this 
Administration." The sovereignty of a nation — 
the People themselves, have not a right to do, 
much less to command another to do a dishon- 
orable act — I mean an act dishonorable to the Na- 
tion in her intercourse with other nations. All 
power rests with the sovereign authority; but 
m a Constitutional government like ours, even 
the People may bind themselves against doing 
wrong. If they would set about taking off that 
.shackle, they must revolutionize and strike at the 
Constitution. Alter that, if they choose; but even 
the People have no right to do wrong to other 
nations, and leave the Constitution as it is. I honor 
that statesman who can go whither the honor of 
his country carries him, forgetful of himself and his 
personal convenience, or the consistency of his 
mere opinion. Had Mr. Polk repeated his opin- 
ion of our " clear and unquestionable" title for an 
Amen to his daily prayers for years and years to- 
gether, it would still have been the duty of the 
President to go to the line of 49° as a compro- 
mise, if he believed, as he says he did, that 
his country was "committed," and the honor 
and faith of the nation bade him go there. It 
is still his duty to do it, if he sincerely be- 
lieves what he says. Talk what you may of 
the People — flatter them as you please — yet in 
spite of all the one-sided arguments upon our 
title to Oregon, and the unfairness of preclud- 
ing a debate upon it here by the clamor of 
"British" against every one that doubts it for an 

ijicft, — only let this question go to the People of the 
United States, whether the honor of the nation is 
not dearer than "every inch" of Oregon on the 
other side of 49 — let the people hear and under- 
stand the motives and the policy and the honorable 
necessity under which the President has acted, and 
from the mountain valleys of the West to the 
shores of the Atlantic, they will respond that the 
President has done right — the honor of our countiy 
before everything else ! If honesty and patriotism 
did not susUiin the President, prudence and peace 
would lend their aid; and all the world would see 
that a war for the whole of Oregon, when we are 
ourselves divided in opinion upon the question of 
right to the whole of it, and the Chief Magistrate 
himself believed that it was not honorable to go for 
our extreme right, would be madness. How could 
we pray God to bless us and to aid our arms in 
such a conflict } 

But Senators, who are relying upon the Pres- 
ident's Message to Congress as a declaration of 
hostility to further negoUation and the pledge of 
a determination on his part not to settle this contro- 
versy at all by a pacific compromise, even if his 
own offer should be returned upon him, may find 
themselves disappointed. I warn them that they 
have been deceiving themselves by their own mis- 
interpretation. Even if there could be found in the 
" record" (as the Senator from Ohio has called his 
Message) a line or a sentence to stimulate the 
hopes of some Senators or to excite the suspicions 
of others, I hope to dissipate them all by a re- 
view of his acts and omissions, and of the icords of 
that Presidential "record. " For I undertake to say, 
that if there be truth in logic, faith in the integrity 
and virtue of public agents, and meaning in Eng- 
lish words, it can be demonstrated from the course 
of the Administration, from its acts of commission 
and acts of omission, and the language of this 
" record," that the President will not, as he ought 
not to, repel and refuse to entertain an offer from 
the British Minister for a compromise, substan- 
tially the same that he himself has heretofore pro- 
posed; and that whilst the Senate are in session, 
he could not think of such a thing without their ad- 
vice. For he must know ; — we do know that a con- 
stitutional majority of that body would prefer a 
compromise at the line of 49° to Ein " inevitable 
war" for the hue of 54° 40'. 

Upon this subject of a ivar, suffer me to say a 
word before I proceed to this demonstration. 

To deprecate war, as a calamity, by any la- 
bored remarks in the nineteenth century, and in 
an American Senate, would be a trespass upon 
your time, and I fear an insult to your understand- 
ing. But it has been thought that Great Britain 
will not fight for Oregon; and the Senator from 
Illinois, [Mr. Breese,] speaking for the " true 
friends of Oregon," would almost seem to think 
that the only use of any negotiation about this 
matter, (and that he does allow of,) is, to let her get 
time to quit, so as to avoid being kicked out of the 
possession all the way up to 54° 40'. These are 
not his words, but this is hardly a caricature of 
the impression they made upon the minds of his 
hearers. Now, without going at all into the ques- 
tion of which country has the best title above the 
line of 49°, let me ask the Senate to look at the 
map of Oregon printed by your order. To cast 
your eyes over it above the 49th parallel — to see 


Frazer"'s river occupied and fortified from its mouth 
to its source; all English forts ! — to recollect that • 
Great Britain has held possession there for for-ty 
years and more ! — to bear in mind that an Ameri- 
can settler's foot (so far as I know) never trod that 
soil! — not to forget that we have been ne£;otiating 
for forty years, and always offering to Great Britain 
to compromise for all below Frazer's river ! — then 
to turn to the Sixth protocol of the negotiation this 
day pending and undetermined, and there read 
what the British Minister said, to wit, on the 24th 
of September, 1844: " He was for the present obliged 
' to declare that he did not feel authorized to enter 
* INTO A DISCUSSION respecting the territory north of 
' the 49th paralhl of latitude''' — ay, not authorized 
to DISCUSS the British claims "on this Frazer's 
river! — and then tell me if national pride, na- 
tional honor, and every consideration that can 
stim.ulate a nation to war, would not compel 
Great Britain to resist, should our Government 
undertake to dislodge her settlements there, after 
first rudely terminating the negotiation, and boldly 
declaring that compromise is inadmissible — yes, 
even our own offer, for two generations, out of 
the question — " All or none" — " The whole or a 
fight." In such a case, Great Britain must fight; 
.she ought to fight; and she icould fight. If the 
Senator will permit me to supjjose him an English- 
man, to him I put the question, then: Were you 
an Englishman, would you not resist ; would you 
not fight? And if you would fight were you an 
Englishman, what, being an American Statesman, 
have you done with the golden rule — what with 
the Jackson rule — whilst you arc thus " demand- 
ing what is not right?" 

I propose now to call the attention of the Senate 
to the ACTS of the President having an immediate 
connexion with the inquiry of what is his posi- 

His acts of commission: "What are they ? Look 
to the " records" and see. Therein you find that 
he himself offered the line of 49^^ as a compromise 
last August. He made that ofi'er notwithstanding 
his " settled conviction" individually, then as well 
as now, that our title was " clear and unquestion- 
able" — not unquestioned, but unquestionable — 
not the only claim, but " the best in existence." 
He admitted in so many words to the British Gov- 
ernment that he felt " committed" as a Chief Ma- 
gistrate of the Nation. He tells Congress that he 
was" committed." " Committed," I say, by every 
thing but the Bond of the United States! I have 
already shown that, in saying and in doing all 
(his, he only did what it was right in him to do as 
a President of the United States. At all events he 
has solem.nly declared to the world that such was 
his opinion. Having " committed" himself by 
his own declaration, and by his correspondent 
net, v^ho is a "friend" of the President in this 
Senate and yet will dare to say of him, or having 
said so, will, on that account, adhere to declaring 
that he ought, or that he can, be understood now 
as speaking to us for him'e'fhy the same " records." 
Such language as this, " I recant it all." " True, 
my Country was committed by the acts of my 
predecessors." '-True, I have in my own per- 
son offered to redeem her honor by a proposal 
to yield some portion of what I believed to be her 
strict right." " But should the offer of my pre- 
decessors already adopted by mCj as that of the 

nation itself, happen to be returned upon me, I 
will not entertain it!" "There shall be no com- 
promise" — "No consultation with the Senate" — 
"All of Oregon or none" — " 54° 40', fight or no 
fight !" Oh, my God, wliat an attitude is this for a 
nian's friend to assume for him! 

I hear a Senator behind me say from his seat, 
" The President has put himself there ."' Never ! nev- 
er ! He has not said it. It is nowhere on the " rec- 
ords." This kind office has been performed for him 
by his " friends," who seem determined to have 
his company; and because they go for " All of Ore- 
gon or none," to take the Administration along 
withthembyconstruction,atany and every peril, to 
its consistency and to the peace of the United States. 
No, sir! no, sir! The President has not put /lim- 
self into that position. Had he done it, or if he 
should do it; I for one do not hesitate to declare 
that it would comjiel me to turn my back upon 
him and his Administration. I have not that friend 
upon earth whom I would support in a position 
so inconsistent with his own professions of high 
devotion to his country's honor — so injurious to 
this greatNation's fame — so perilous to the world's 
peace. The President made not a manly offering to 
the committed character of our country and to the 
peace of the world, that he might ingloriously 
snatch it back again before it could be accepted, 
simply and singly because it was not seized upon 
in the day, or month, or year he offered it. I ask 
his pardon for the supposition that he could. For 
one, I do not doubt him. Before I will do it, he 
must sign a plain recantation. I would hardly be- 
lieve that. He must do the foul deed befoi-e I 
surrender my faith. 

What if it was xcithdrawn after its last rejection ? 
That is nothing, for it had been in like manner icith- 
draurnhy his predecessors. If their withdrawal in 
1817 and 1827 left the Government still committed, 
how could it be otherwise because he withdrew the 
same offer in 1345? This plea would be a miser- 
able subterfuge, and no Senator will adopt it in 
the name of (he President; none can do it, and call 
it an act of friendship to him. 

Mr. President, ought not this one act, of itself, 
to be conclusive against these false constructions 
of the Message ? But it is not all. We are in 
possession of more — much more — in these " rec- 
ords;" for it is to them I speak. The President 
knows his own purposes best — where he intends 
to stop, and whether he has, in truth, already 
terminated his efforts to negotiate a compromise. 
He knows that, if he terminates negotiation, and 
rashly encounters the hazard of asserting our ex- 
treme claims to the ivhole of Oregon up to 54° 40', 
the United States must either retreat ingloriously 
from her pretensions or prepare to dislodge Great 
Britain and to defend herself by force of arms! 
That I think I have already proved. And yet, oh ! 
what an OMISSION! No notice has been given 
for this necessity to Congress or the people plainly 
and directly, as it ought to have been. No rec- 
ommendations to Congress to prepare for our de- 
fence, or for the forcible assertion of our rights, 
are in these " records!" To prepare now — to-day. 
No estimates have been sent up to us for that ob- 
ject. None. Nothing of the kiiid. The estimates 
are lowered, not increased ! What is the inference ? 
What does he mean that you shall understand by 
tlus? That there is, 6»i, his part, no intention to 


compr muse.' That negotiation has come to an end, 
and will not be pursued by liim? And v/ill not 
his friends permit themselves to see, when they 
tlius misconstrue his Message, that they involve 
tiie President, were it true, in a guilt too deep for 
decent utterance? — An inexcusable, treacherous, 
cowardly, criminal concealment of our country's 
danger; when, if in reality there is to be no further 
negotiation on our part, there can be no excuse — 
no reason — no pretext — for silence. Cut the con- 
struction is false: President Polk viould not betray 
his country thus. Depend upon it, he would have 
told you plainljr and directly of it, if he had aban- 
doned negotiation on his part; not daring thus to 
bring you to an " inevitable war." or a worse alter- 
native, for " All of Oregon or none,*^ against your 
consent, and without notice to prepare for it. That 
he has not so warned and so informed you plainly, 
is, to my mind, conclusive. 

Nor is this all. The President knows, as well 
as he knows the faces of Senators, that a very 
large proportion, I will not sny how many, of 
those who expect to vote this notice into his hands 
arc fiivorablc to negotiation for a compromise at 
49°; and that we would not do it, not for an in- 
stant WOULD I THINK OF DOING IT, if wc bclieved 
the construction that has been placed upon his Mes- 
sage by the Senators of Ohio, [Mr. Allen,] Indi- 
ana, [Mr. Hannegan,] and Illinois, [Mr. Breese;] 
and, perhaps, also — I am not certain — by the 
Senator from Micliigan, [Mr. Cass.] He must 
know — he does know — that we would not vote 
for it if, on the contrary, we did not confidently 
believe, from his past conduct, and the absence of 
any plain i-ecantation in the Message, that tliis 
notice vvill be used as a means of pursuing the 
pending negotiation upon the basis of compromise, 
as a moral instrument to help, and not to hinder 
it, as it has been heretofore conducted by him- 
self and his predecessors. And, yet, is there a 
Senator here to speak to us and say, that he is 
authorized to undeceive us; — if, indeed, we have 
been thus deceived ? No answer ? Then there is 
no one. Then the President has authorized no- 
body to speak for him, and confirm this senato- 
rial interpretation of his Message, as made bj' the 
*' true friends of Oregon." I do believe he would 
have done that, and more than that, rather than de- 
ceive and betray so many of this Senate. I am tliere- 
fore friend enough to the President to doubt and to 
deny this fiilse construction and fiiithfulness to my 
trust as a Senator compels me to do it, as from my 
heart I do this day, openly, before the American 
Senate. If any one here be now autliorized to 
speak for him, let him speak. 

I come to one other act of omission, wliich I 
mention without the slightest intentional discour- 
tesy to the honorable Senator froni Ohio,. [Mr. 
Alle;j:] but the facts are well known to the Sen- 
ate; and the omission to which I allude bears too 
strongly upon the point before me to be altogether 
pretermitted. Mr. President, my subject is too 
important for me to sacrifice truth and argument 
to any fidse delicacy. It is no q\iestion of dollars 
and cents; but it is, as I regard it, and as this 
Senate looks at it, a question of peace or war — 
honor or dishonor to my country. The chairman 
of the Committee on Foreign Relations, then,- has 
always been regarded, in the practice of legislative 
bodies, as a depository of the Executive purposes 

and opinions, privnfe as well as public, in so far as 
they are connected with our foreign relations. I 
do not say he is required or expected to tell the 
Senate anything conf.dentially entrusted to him. 
By no means. Not at all. But heretofore it has 
sufficed if he met imprudent inquiries by an ex-- 
pressive silence — by his simple unexplained waiver 
of unsafe interrogatories we could know what 
we were about. How is it in this matter? The 
honorable chairman, with most alarming em- 
phasis, more than once, when he was stimulated 
by no question from others, but of his own head 
and imagination — I grant you, of his own "clear 
and unquestioned" right — has assumed to construe 
the Message for us, as a record by which the 
President had botli pledged himself and notified the 
Senate that there would be no further negotiation 
for a compromise. I hoped he was mistaken, and 
I always believed he was. This has been iterated 
and reiterated in the Senate by the honorable 
chairman and other Senators; and it has gone to 
the world, where it will be hastily taken up by thou- 
sands, as though it had been an AUTHORIZED 
exposition of the views and intentions of the Ad- 
ministration. More recently , the Honorable Chair- 
man proclaimed that the President's opinions and 
views had undergone "no shadow of iuriiijig-;" 
but, in answer to a direct inquiry put to him on 
the floor of the Senate by the honorable Senator 
from Maryland, [Mr. Johnson,] it M-as distinctly 
admitted by himself that the " records, and the 
records ALONE," were the sources from which 
he derived any authority thus to commit the Pres- 
ident against negotiation. In a word: that the 
Honorable Chairman's speeches were but infer- 
ences of the Senator — not authorized interpretations 
by the chairman. From the '' records ALONE." 
aiark thatr 

The Honorable Chairman of Foreign Affairs,, 
then, it appears, has not obtained and does not 
possess, confidentially, the views and purposes of 
the President; and wliat he has given us was the 
logic of his mind, not an authorized dictum of hit? 
office. After his own declaration in the Senate, it 
would be doing him great injustice to insinuate or 
to suspect otherwise, or that he meant anything: 

Here then we see a Committee of Foreign 
Afiliirs in the Senate for more than two months in 
possession of a great subject, and with these iden- 
tical " records" refeiTed to them for consideration 
— early notice asked for — a resolution reported ^ 
and speeches delivered — but no communication 
has been made to the chairman intimating that 
his senatorial construction of the President's mean- 
ing is true or false ! If the construction be not true^ 
we see a reason for the President's silence. Plow- 
ever painful to him personally, he owed it to all the 
proprieties of his own public stiition, and to the 
service of the Republic, not to speak betbrchand 
of his future purposes in a tugotialion through 
the Chairman or any body else. I'f the construc- 
tion, hov/ever, be true, the duty of the President 
would be a plain one to himself^ to the Senrcte, and' 
to the Nation. He should have- authorized thai 
committee to set the country right at once, by con- 
firming the Senator's interpretation to the letter, and 
bringing the Senate to one mind about what it is' 
he means, and what it is he wants Avith a notice 
after liavi'ng determine;] to go for '=AU of Oregon'' — 


" No compromise" — "No negotiation !"_ To my 
mind it appears, therefore, that this omission to 
make the customary confidential disclosures to the 
Chairman of Foreign Affairs, is pregnant with in- 
ferences. More especially as we know that Sen- 
ator to be the personal and political friend of the 
President, but one who has committed himself, 
and would seem inclined, I must say, to carry the 
Administration with him, either before or behind, 
against all compromise, and, consequently, against 
all negotiation. I do not say, that these miscon- 
structTons are wilful. I never harbored a thought 
that they were. 

But, again, Mr. President: If the Administra- 
tion wished to stop all negotiaiion, on their part, 
nothing was easier than for the President of the 
United States to do all that without coming to Con- 
gress at all. By the general law of nations and of 
common sense, we know that this convention of 
1827 might have been abrogated by the mutual con- 
stat of the parties to it. That is precisely the mode 
in which a new treaty annuls an existing conven- 
tion. Beyond all controversy, the President, in 
virtue of his constitutional power to propose nego- 
tiation and to make treaties with foreign Govern- 
ments, had authority, without the knowledge or 
consent of Congress, to make a proposition to the 
British Minister to annul the convention of 1827, 
by the mutual consent of both Governments, and 
there to stop. I think it is highly probable that 
this proposition might have been accepted. But 
what if it had not ? Is there a Senator who doubts 
that such a proposition, whether agreed to or not 
by Great Britain, would have terminated and of it- 
self have put an end to the fending negotiation /or « 
compromise; and that the British P»linister, if he had 
not taken leave of the country, would have been 
obliged to take short leave of this subject of Ore- 

Why, then, was it not done? Why was it not 
attempted "in that manner?" Why was that 
more ready and direct manner of terminating the 
negotiation for a compromise and abrogating the con- 
vention of 1827 omitted altogether? There is no 
answer consistent with the republican integrity 
and manly patriotism of our President, except that 
which I have already insisted upon: — That he did 
not wish to put a stop to negotiation on his part. 
That he stands upon the line of 49° as a compro- 
mise, bj?- the side of the nation's honor, as he un- 
derstands it. That he stands there to-day, as he 
did last December, with the crown of peace upon 
his head, and he has not asked to be clothed in the 
panoply of roar. That he wants peace, honorable 
peace — not war, dishonorable war! 

Mr. President, I am very loth to upon 
the patience of the Senate; and perhaps I might 
safely stop here. But your indulgent attention 
encourages me to proceed; and as I proposed at 
this point, so I invite you to look and see whether 
the iDord.s of the "record" are, alas! so plain, and 
their meaning so clear, as to exclude those infer- 
ences which the confidence of agenerousfriendship, 
the justice of a Senate, and even the ordinary chari- 
ty of any man, might accord to the President of the 
United States, in a full view of that which I have 
already imperfectly reviewed. Before doing that, 
I remark, however, that when Senators talk about 

making the inference from tliese " records" that 
the negotiation is at an end, they forget that the 
fact appears in their:face directly opposite to their 
inference. The negotiation which begun in Mr. 
Tyler's time, and v/hich has been continued by 
President Polk, is, in reality, a pending negoti- 
ation this very day. It never has been terminated, 
on our part, up to the hour when I am addressing 
this Senate. Only discriminate for a moment be- 
tween a negotiation and the correspondence of the 
Ministers, and the fact is at once palpably before 
you. A negotiation may be open, and continued, 
whilst the correspondence of the Ministers may be 
suspended, or delayed for a month or a year. 
This distinction needs but to be stated in so en- 
lightened a body as this. Illustrations would be 
useless and unprofitable HERE. Yet may I not 
be pardoned for reminding you -that a negotia- 
tion, in the proper sense, is a business between 
two Govei-nmcnts, as Governments — opened by their 
mutual consent as Governments to treat with one 
another upon State affairs; and which once opened, 
cannot be amicably concluded without a like mu- 
tual consent, (as by a treaty or a convention,) ex- 
cept one of the parlies shall first dircclhj notify the 
other of its intention to close it. 

I think this definition, if not precisely accurate, 
is enough so to answer the purpose of presenting 
this pomt to the mind of the Senate distinctly, 
and that is all I shall aim to do, making no re- 
ferences to dictionaries or authorities. With this 
distinction in our minds, it will be seen that if 
the President had said to Congress in so many 
words, "Negotiation has terminated;" it would 
have been nothing but the m.istaken statement of a 
fact, so long as a reference to the "whole corre- 
spondence" clearly showed the fact to be other- 
wise. The President's own direct statement could 
not alter the fact. If it would be so, were the state- 
ment unequivocal and direct, what is to be said of 
a mere INFERENCE by his "friends," from 
equivocal language, but that it is a FALSE IN- 
FERENCE ? Now, then, this whole correspond- 
ence does show clearly that the negotiation was 
regularly opened; but it nowhere appears that 
the President has notified the British Minister, or 
that the British Minister has notifed the President, 
of any unwillingness to pursue it, nor that they 
have mtefiw?^!/ agreed to terminate it; and therefore 
it is still open. On the contrary, the British Min- 
ister was informed by the President (page 85) that 
he earnestly " hoped that this long pending con- 
' troversy may yet be finally adjusted in such a 
' manner as not to disturb the peace or interrupt the 
' harmony now so happily subsisting between the 
' two nations." That hope is again expressed 
upon the occasion of our refusal to ARBITRATE. 
Great Britain so understands it; and accordingly 
we see her Ministers daily in our streets, and our 
intercourse with Great Britain is as friendly as it 
ever was. 

The assertion or the inference, therefore, that this 
negotiation has been concluded, is thus shown to 
be directly contrary to an ascertained FACT; and 
every attempt to prove it is a most absurd, may 
1 say a ridiculous, attempt to prove before an 
American Senate that, which we both see and 
know, from the " record itself," to be UNTRUE. 


Negotiation, thon, in its proper sense, is pending. 
Wliat negotiation .' Wliat nc;»;otiation is it? That 
same unconclnded nc^'otiation which, by the first 
protocol, our Goi-cnwuiit agreed, in writing, to ap- 
proach " in the spirit of compromise," (page 36.) 
That same luironcliidcd negotiation whicli Presi- 
dent Polk declared to tlie British Minister lie had 
" determined to pursue to Us conclu-don, upon the 
principle of compromise, '' (P'\?p fi~-) Tiiat same 
negotiation in which President Polk admitted to 
the British Minister that this Government was 
" committed" to " a compromise" which he offered 
to Great Britain, (page G2.) That same negotia- 
tion in which the President said to Congress that 
he was "committed" by tiic conduct of his pre- 
decessors to offer the line of 49° as a compromise, 
and that lie had therefore superadded his own offer 
of it to their precedents, (pages 10, 11.) That 
same negotiation whereof he declared to Congress 
that the "British proposition" to us is "wholly 
inadmissible and cannot be entertained," with a 
due regard to our honor, were it re-offered; but in 
which he has NEVER said that he would refuse 
to entertain the Jlmcriran proposition if it should 
be returned upon him aijain. But he does admit, 
and by his conduct he hasconfirnied the truth of it, 
that the ^Imcrican jiroposition for compromise was 
consistent with our honor and demanded by his 
regard for the national character. Yet, Mr. Pres- 
ident, have you been constrained to sit liere and 
listen to a long and (I fear it will be) a tedious 
speech from me, to prove, to demonstrate, that the 
President has not terminated nfs;oli(ition on lus v art , 
and that he has not resolved not to cmnp-mnise this 
controversy, almost upon his own terms, should 
Great Britain ask him to do it. 

One or two general remarks upon the charac- 
ter of the Message, I must make, before I dissect 
those particular sentences which, by being separa- 
ted from their context and improperly associated | 
and identified with the opinions of Mr. Polk upon 
our paper title, have misled so many people. 

If for the sake of being understood I .should 
be guilty of occasional repetitions, I pray the Senate 
to excuse me. I will be as brief as I can. So far 
as the President's Message touches upon ORE- 
GON, it is not and was not designed to be a dis- 
closure of his purposes and opinions in tlie/u/n»"e 
progress of negotiation, hut of his past action only. 
Wliat is said in the Messaire, from the beginning 
to the end of it, about negotiation, is nothing more 
than a narrative of the President's ACTION vp 
to that time; and the Avhole correspondence is at- 
tached to let Congress see and know for them- 
selves what he had DONE — with perhaps an occa- 
sional introduction (as if by way of parenthesis) 
of the motives and opinions by which he had been 
influenced to deviate in that ACTION from an as- 
sertion of our extreme claim to all of Oregon. Now 
it is chiefly from the unfortunate stirlfing-in of 
these parenthetical excuses to satisfy the ultraism of 
the President's " true friends of Oregon" that the 
misconsti-uction of his Message has arisen — stim- 
ulated, I know, by external causes; but to which 
I will allude no further at present. I speak of the 
Message as I read it, and according to my own 
mind and judgment upon it; not BY AUTHORI- 
TY. In concluding this narrative, and precisely 

where it concluded, (poge J],) the President ditf 
proceed to express his opinion, upon "evidence" 
referred to as "satisfactory," that "ho compro- 
mise which toe ought to accept can be effected." 

If he alluded to the future, he might or might not 
be mistaken in his conclusion; but if to that time — 
the time present — it is a fact, as if he had 
said, none has been effected. I commend to your 
consideration either one of these alternatives. 

His reasons for it are given; and they consist 
altogether of these facts: 

1st. That the British Minister had made a prop- 
osition that was " inadmissible." 

2d. That he had rejected one which o\ir Gov- 
ernment had made, "without submittingany other 
proposition, and had suffered the negotiation, ON 
HIS PART, to stop." Tlie Senate can judge of 
their sufliciency. 

At all events, it was " with this cowiction," 
continues the Message, that the American offer, 
tchich had been made and rejected, icns tcithdraiony 
(p. 11)_THAT IS ALL! Whether a fact or an 
opinion, for the future or the present, it was made 
the basis of his withdrawing the rejected of- 
fer, AND NOTHING MORE. And now what be- 
comes of all the inferences made from this single 
sentence .' 

Again: it is to be observed that he did not express 
any determination of his own mind in respect to 
his future course; but the fair inferences to be made 
from the words of the Message are, that, u-ithout 
"this conviction," the American proposition would 
not have been withdrawn at all; and upon the sup- 
position or contingency of a change of " this con- 
viction," by the British Minister ceasing "on his 
part to stop," he did not declare nor intimate that 
his own offer had become also inadmissible. It 
seems to me the inference by us ought to be pre- 
cisely the other way; and that the constructions 
given to these oft quoted words are illogical and 
untrue. There the narrative ended, concluding, I 
again repeat, by assigning "this conviction" upon 
his mind as his reason for icithdraicing his propo- 
sition after it had feten rejected! But nothing more — 
nothing more. 

He does not expressly ask for the notice as an 
instniment of negotiation at all. That is left for 
Congress to see and decide upon. He asks Con- 
gress for a LAW that will show the concurrence 
of the two Departments of the Government in one 
conclusion, and that is, that the old convention of 
1827 is to be no more, after a year's notice. We 
see for ourselves — we know for ourselves, that such 
a concurrence will strengthen his hands, and there- 
fore we will give him the authority at once, and 
whilst negotiation is pending. In that form and 
to that extent he asked it, and in no other. 

It is true, Mr. President, that the Message re- 
commending certain measures of legislation — all of 
them, however, entirely consistent with further ne- 
gotiation — contained this general declaration: "All 
' attempts at compromise having failed, it becomes 
« the duty of Congress to CONSIDER whatmeas- 
' urcsitMAYbe proper to adopt," &c., (page 11.) 
And, after remarking that a year's notice must be 
given before cither party can rightfully assert or 
exercise " exclusive'^ jurisdiction over " any por- 
tion" of the territory, the President said: "This 


' notice it would, in my j\>dgnient, be proper to 
' give; and I recommend that provision be made 
' by law forgiving it accordingly, and terminating 
' in this manner the convention of the 6lh August, 
' 1827." " All attempts" are very general words. 
I admit that; and I am not complaining against 
Senators for their first impressions; but surely it is 
not illogical nor unreasonable for me to insist that, 
with the light of his past conduct now before us — 
his acts of omission and commission, — with the 
words "consider" and " may" in the same sen- 
tence — not "enact" and " is," or the like, — with the 
already ascertained fact that negotiation was and is 
still pending, — with the knowledge that .TAMES K. 
POLK is not an imperious MILITARY CHIEF- 
whom politically there is no expectation of a fu- 
ture at the close of his Presidential term, — with the 
very strong fact that, unless the President desired 
to have this legislative action as a merely moral in- 
strument to aid him in his executive duties, and 
to pursue the negotiation to a conclusion, (if such 
should be the will of Congress,) he could have no 
use for it that is honorable to him or to his Ad- 
ministration, — with all these things as a key to 
their true meaning, it will not be said (at least, 
not by his "friends") that "all e,fforls to effect a 
comproinise" meant anything more than " all the 
efforts made anterior to the date of the Message^'' — 
" all the efforts made up to that period.'''' So inter- 
preted, how harmless the sentence was! How 
unjust, how false the deductions made from it! 

"But the Message said: "Jit the end of the year's 
' notice, we shall have reached a period when 
' the national rights in Oregon must either be 
' abandoned or firmly maintained. That they can- 
' not be abandoned without a sacrifice of both na- 
' tional honor and interest is too clear to admit of 
' doubt," (page 13.) A great deal has been attempt- 
ed to be made of this by the " true friends of Ore- 
gon." Now observe, that " at the end of the year's 
notice," not before it, in the view of that part of 
the Message, will that period be reached. But it 
is as clear as a sunbeam that the period cannot be 
delayed " a year" unless negotiation is to be pur- 
sued. If the President's mind had been made up 
to compromise nothing and to negotiate no longer, 
it was little less than a deception and a mockery to 
tell Congress that the period for abandoning or as- 
serting our rights will be reached a year after notice 
to Great Britain ! In such a case, the period had 
come already. It is now here! — NOW! — TO- 
DAY ! — and he would have told us to prepare for 
asserting " our clear and unquestionable title to all of 
Oregon." This ought to have been his language, 
if such had been his meaning. But if, indeed, ne- 
gotiation was to be " pursued to a conclusion in a 
spirit of compromise," the period for asserting or 
abandoning our " national rights" must be delay- 
ed, and cannot be reached until the negotiation is 
concluded; and if the notice is passed, it may con- 
tinue a year, but no longer. 

If, therefore, Mr. President, I am not most griev- 
ously mistaken in the man and the officer — if I have 
not been altogether deceived liy his past conduct 
and by these "records," the President has not shut 
the door to a peaceable and honorable adjustment 
of the OREGON controversy by a COMPRO- 

MISE ; but, with noble reliance upon his own good 
purposes and a just regaifd for Congress as the con- 
stitutional interpreters and representatives of the 
public will, he has only paused to see whether the 
Representatives of the States and tlie People will 
stand by him or not. Standing in the halls of 
negotiation, with the door of conciliation as open 
as "before, he but turns to receive from Congress 
this law to aid his progress. He invites their sanc- 
tion as a legislative body to a law for notice to ter- 
minate the existing convention of 1827. But he 
stands there with dignity, moderation, and discre- 
tion, ready to hear his constitutional advisers, 
should they bid him to forbear, and if that indeed 
be the will of the People constitutionally expressed. 
That is his exact position as defined by his past 
conduct, and in no way contradicted by the re- 
cords fairly interpreted. You see what the Presi- 
dent's position is, if I understand it, and I believe 
that I do. I have no fear— no doubt— no distrust 
of it or of him. WHAT WILL NOW BE 
YOURS? What shall we do? 

If you think the President has done wrong, a.s 
somc'of "the true friends of Oregon" do, and that 
he has "committed" himself to surrender too much 
for honor, compromise, and peace,— then close the 
halls of the Senate, and let those Senators meet the 
responsibility of advising him to put an end to ne- 
gotiation; and until you have told him that, and 
he has obeyed it, do not give him this law to au- 
thorize the notice; and then you will be doing — 
VOTING— something towards "All of Oregon or 
none." That course would be manly; and less 
than that will not be just to yourselves, nor to the 
President, nor to the country. He will then see 
and understand your position truly, and he will 
know how to use your notice. He will know 
how to advise you for a preparation for conse- 
quences. He win understand that you have given 
it to him as a sword, and not as an olive branch. 

If you think he has proposed too little — and I 
fear there may be some here who do, although no 
one has yet declared so— that more concession 
ought to be made to the demands of Great Britain 
than the offered compromise line at 4'J°; that be- 
cause the President has not, and probably may 
not, make that concession, it were belter to remit 
both countries to their ancient condition of a per- 
petual feud and a joint occupancy under the exist- 
ing convention of 1827; and that this can be safely 
done in full view of coming events, then it is cer- 
tain—I admit it without hesitation— that the notice 
oudit to be REFUSED by you. 

But if this Senate have made up their minds that 
the line of compromise at 49° is substantially all 
that we ought to yield, or can yield— and if they 
are willing to strengthen the arm of the Executive 
in his efforts to settle this dispute THERE, and by 
a COMPROMISE, to preserve the honor and peace 
of our country, satisfied as we must be that now 
or never is the time to prevent demagogues of our 
land from converting this difference mto a dispute 
—this negotiation into a war— they will then give 
him what he asks for— give it to him promptly, 
confidingly, by passing some sort of law for a 
notice, wliile "he stands in his present position, 
that he may terminate the convention of 1827. 

Mr. President, I hope I have not decided with- 


out a just consideration of my responsibility, both 
liere and hereafter, upon the position I siiall 
take. But after much reflection, long and anxious 
thought, a conscientious effort to determine the 
point with justice to other nations, but with un- 
faltering faithfulness to the honorable obligations 
and lasting interests of my own country, I have 
come to the conclusion, as a Senator of the United 
Stiites, that we cannot, ought not, must not com- 
promise this controversy in any manner very nia- 
teriiilly different from that to which the President, 
as I understand his position and these records, 
sUinds himself committed, and RIGHTLY COM- 
MITTED;— and I shall therefore vote to give him 
the notice, and with it all the moral weight of 
an American Sevate's settled opiviok, that if 
Great Britain will not, or if she cannot, consent 
to do us justice, by yielding her pretensions of 
dominion over the territory below that line of 
49° as a compromise, then WE WILL HAVE 
TO FIGHT. I repeat it, WE MUST THEN 
FIGHT FOR IT. If my mind had not settled 
down into a determination to concede no more than 
a compromise at 49°, with the qualifications al- 
ready sU-itcd, I would vote against the notice; for 
without that determination of the Senate the no- 
tice would have no moral weight whatever, and be 
worthless, worse than worthless, in the negotiation. 
It would be a temporizing pretence — a species of 
legislative di|ilomacy, an emjjty bravado, of which 
v/e have had quite enough already, unsuited to the 
dignity of this body or the gravity of the subject, 
and rather embarrassing than helpful to the Ad- 
ministration in pursuing the negotiation. In a 
word, we ought to refuse the notice unless there is 
a solemn determination to make the compromise 
line of 49'^ our FIGHTING LINE— i/ it must be 

But, Mr. President, there are some other topics 
that have been introduced into this discussion, 
which I feel obliged to notice. We have been told 
that the PEOPLE have decided this question, 
and all Democrats are ctdled to obey the voice 
of the people at the peril of consequences. I 
am a Democrat, and upon party questions a party 
man. Of this, I make no concealment; and at 
home I have never been suspected, I think, but 
once, and that did not last long. But I am not a 
slave to dictation, nor a tame follower of any 
man's lead, especially upon questions likely to in- 
volve my party in danger, or my country m ruin. 
I am Democrat enough not to shrink from speak- 
ing the Irutli boldly to the people, as they shall 
liear who hear me at all. I had rather serve them 
than please them, though I have found in my own 
experience that honest service is the best avenue 
to their confidence. I do not know nor believe 
that the people are opposed to an honorable 
compromise of this controversy. That they 
might be made so by wilful appliances, I have 
no doubt. But I do not shrink from meeting 
such an issue directly — not I. I should hold 
rnysclf no Democrat if I did. By the Constitu- 
tion of the United States, the makivg of trea- 
ties is confided to the PRESIDENT, under the 
advice of the Senate. I talk of treaties; not ordina- 
ry laws. In treaty-making, we act in private, and 
upon information we cannot disclose. We deny to 

I foreign Ministers the right to discuss the cause of 
j their Governments to our PEOPLE. Should one 
undertake it, he would be driven from the country, 
as he ought to be. We represent STATES; and 
I Senators are presumed to be statesmen of some 
learning and great judgment. We generally ratify 
a treaty before the PEOPLE are permitted to know 
anything of it, or of the reasons for its ratification. 
If we were cautious to observe the rules, this would 
always be the case. How absurd, therefore, to 
assert that the People have retained, or that they 
wish to exert, or that they can rightfully exercise, 
the power to instruct the Senate upon the making 
of a treaty. How execrable and revolutionary 
would be the doctrine that a President should seek 
to set aside his constitutional advisers, and go be- 
fore the people, whether it were the honest " mass- 
es," or Baltimore Conventions, or town and county 
meetings, wherein factions are first formed, and 
then led by demagogues, who called them together. 
Oh, my country! — my country! when that shall 
be our fate, if, in the providence of God, it shall 
ever be! 

Sir, hear what the Father of his Country said, a 
half a century ago. Let the People hear him. Let 
an American Senate hear him. Let PRESIDENT 
stand to his position ! How precious will be his 
reward ! 

"There had been a public meeting in Philadelphia 
' for the purpose of passing resolves against Jay's 
' treaty. After the business of the meeting was 
' closed, a copy of the treaty was suspended on a 
' pole and carried about the streets by a company 
' of people, who at length stopped in front of the 
' British Minister's house, and there burnt the 
' treaty; and also before the door of the British 
' Consul, amidst the huzzas and acclamations of 
' the multitude !" In Boston the same sort of thing 
was done, and a town meeting addressed to the 
President a protest. This was his reply to all: 

" To Ezckiel Price, Thomas Walley, William Board- 
man, Ehenezcr Seaver, Thomas Crafts, Thomas 
Edwards, IVilliam Little, William Scollay, and 
Jesse Putnam — Selectmen of the town of Boston. 
" U.vited States, July 28, 1795. 
" Gentlemen: In every act of my Administra- 
' tion, I have sought the happiness of my fellow- 
' citizens. My system for the attainment of this 
' object has uniformly been to overlook all per- 
'sonal, local, and partial considerations; to con- 
' template the United States as one great whole; to 
' confide that sudden impressions, when erroneous, 
' would yield to candid reflection; and to consult 
' only the substantial and permanent interests of 
' our country. 

" Nor have I departed from this line of conduct 
' on the occasion which has produced the resolu- 
' tions contained in your letter of the 13th instant. 
' Without a predilection for my own judgment, I 
' have weighed with attention every argument 
' which has at any time been brought into view. 
' But the CONSTITUTION is the guide, which I 
' never can abandon. It has assigned to the PRES- 
' IDENT the power of making treaties, with the 
* advice and consent of the SENATE. It was 
' doubtless supposed tliat these two branches of 


' Government would combine, without passion, and 
' with the best means of information, those facts 
' and principles upon which the success of our 
'foreign relations will always depend; that they 
' ought not to substitute for their own conviclion the 

• opinions of others, or to seek truth through any 
' channel but that of a temperate and well-informed 
' investigation. 

" Under this persuasion, I have resolved on the 
' manner of executing the duty before me. To the 
' high responsibility attached to it, I freely submit; 
' and you, gentlemen, are at liberty to make these 
' sentiments known as the grounds of my proce- 
' dure. While I feel the most lively gratitude for 
' the many instances of approbation from my coun- 
' try, I can no otherwise DESER,VE it than by 
' obeying the dictates of my CO^i^SCIEXCE. 

" With due respect, I am, gentlemen, &c., 

Who does not know the history of that party 
denunciation and violence which disturbed this 
nation even under Washington's Administration, 
when GENET appealed to the PEOPLE of the 
States in behalf of France and against Great Brit- 
celebrated Proclamation of Neutrality saved the 
PEACE OF AMERICA. In taking leave of the 
duties and cares of public station, hear what 
Washington said of it to the people: 

" After deliberate examinatioBi, with the aid of 
' the best lights I could obtain, I was well satisfied 
' that our country, under all the circumstances of 
' the case, had a right to take, and was bound in 

• duty and interest to take, a NEUTRAL position. 
' Having taken it, I determined, as far as should 
' depend upon me, to maintain it with moderation, 
' perseverance, and firmness.'^ 

And, oh, how like a patriot and father, did he, 
still yearning over his country, warn us by his 
FAREWELL ADDRESS to beware of all self- 
constituted combinations to overawe and control 
this Senate ! It is Washington who speaks to us 
from the grave; let Senators listen! 

" The basis of our political systems is the right 
' of the people to make and to alter their constitu- 
' tions of Goverimient. But the constitution which 
' at any time exists, till changed by an explicit and 
' authentic act of the whole people, is sacredly ob- 
' ligatory upon all. The very idea of the power 

• and the right of the people to establish govern- 
' ment presupposes the duty of every individual to 
' obey the established government. 

"AH obstructions to the execution of the laws, 
' all combinations and associations, under what- 
' ever plausible character, with the real design to 
' direct, control, counteract, or awe the regular delib- 
' eralion and action of the constituted autiiori- 
' ties, are destructive of this fundamental princi- 
' jile, and of fatal tendency. They serve to organ- 
' ize faction, to give it an artificial and extraordi- 
' nary force, to put in the place oC the delegated will 
' of the nation the will of a party — often a small 
' but artful and enterprising minority of the com^ 
' munity — and, according to the alternate triumphs 
' of difiorent parties, to malce the public adminis- 
' tralion the mirror of the ill-concerted and incon - 
' gmous projects of faction, rather than the organ 

'of consistent and wholesome plans, digested by 
' common counsels, and modified by mutual m- 
' terests. 

" However combinations or associations of the 
' above description may now and then answer 
' popular ends, they are likely, in the course of 
' time and things, to become potent engines, by 
' which cxmning, ambitious, and unprincipled men 
' will be enabled to sxibvert the poiver of the PEOPLE, 
' and to usurp for THEMSELVES the reins of 
' Government, destroying afterwards the very en- 
' gines which have lifted them to unjust domin- 
' ion." — Farewell Md^-ess. 

What words of wisdom and of truth are these ! 
They are the principles of liberty, well-regulated 
liberty; of freedom, constitutional freedom. 

Methinks I see the coming storm. The press may 
be already charged ; but no matter. This is my 
country's question, not a mere party strife. These 
are the sentiments my head and my heart approve, 
and I will not withhold them. The President may 
peril his Administration — some of you believe he 
will — if he or his friends should dare to think like 
But he will violate his dutt and peril his countrt 
if he does not. So did WASHINGTON peril 
his Administration ; but, the people, the DE- 
MOCRACY, came to the rescue, and all was well. 
A much humbler victim (like him who addresses 
you) must expect to be marked as a disturber of our 
party harmony. But shall I preach harmony when 
there is no concord, upon such questions as these .' 
It would be political hypocrisy. I read to an Amer- 
ican Senate the lessons which Washington taught, 
and upon which AVashington ACTED; and if 
" that be treason, make the most of it. " 

But, before you strike, the PEOPLE shall hear. 
Are not these the true principles of the Constitu- 
tion, upon which every Administration of this Gov- 
ernment, from Washington down — Federal and 
ED, I say — in the management of our foreign affairs ? 
I challenge a refutation by their acts — not mere 
words. It is southern Democracy, Mr. President, 
beyond all dispute. It is that sort which I have 
always professed; not like a potato, that grows 
under ground at the root; but which blooms and 
bears its fruit in the open air of heaven, and then 
ripens and is fit for use. 

I say nothing about Legislative Instructions: 
not a word. I have not time to speak upon that 
point, so as to express myself in a manner to avoid 
misrepresentations; and it is not necessary I should 
raise that question before I shall be instructed. Suf- 
fice it to say, that North Carolina has not in- 
structed her Senators. 1 esteem it a jewel in the 
crown of my State, that North Carolina never didj 
in any parly mutations or political excitements, in- 
struct her Senators upon a tueatv or treaty- 
Making, so far as I know. I presume it will not so 
much as be pretended that I ought to pay obedi- 
ence to the mandates of any other State. 

[At this st;\gc of his remarks, Mr. Haywood 
gave an amusing account of the game of politics 
to be played with this Oregon question in Presi- 
dent-making. The substance was, that the great 
Western Democratic statesman, (Mr. Benton,) — [he 
had seen ever since last summer,] — Was to be drum- 


med out of the party, with the false label upon his 
back, of " traitnr to Oregon!" The gi-cat Southern 
Democratic statesman, [INIr. Calhoun,] was to be 
dismissed, falsely laliellcd with the cry of" Punic 
fu'tth to Oregon." The Senator from Arkansas, 
[Mr. Skviek,] another eloquent and early friend 
of Orca;on, would find himself marched out for his 
want of foresight — because, in the last Consjress, 
he made a speech for the notice, but instead of 
jjoing: for " all or none," " fight or no fight," he 
had got for his reward a vulgar patch to his back, 
of ^'notice for the sake of negotiation." The 
Secretary of State, [Mr. Buchanan,] and all the 
Cabinet, would probably be dismissed, in a body, 
from the party, branded as " British compromisers." 
And as that left the Governor of JVeto York still in 
die party, Mr. H. asked, " what of him? How 
is he to' be got rid of?" "Oh, that will be a 
small job, provided the indignation against the 
Washington' treaty can be kept up to a white 
heat long enough, as he voted for its ratification." 
[Then turning to Mr. Webster] — " The Senator 
from Massachusetts may see a more amiable ex- 
cuse for certain stale strictures upon the " Wash- 
ington treaty" than malice towards tlie negotiator. 
GbVER^'bR WRIGHT, as a Senator, voted for 
its ratification; and he happens not to be here to 
vote upon Oregon. So " Ratification of the Jlshbur- 
ton treaty," will be his badge upon his dismissal. 
During this part of the speech there was much 
laughter, and the picture, although drawn serious- 
ly, v/as exhibited in good humor. He then pro- 
ceeded as follows:] 

Why, in the name of all that is safe to my party, 
where do the Democrats expect to find a Presiden- 
tial candidate? Who will be our President after 
we have expelled all our biggest men ? Sir, I am 
sure I do not know. 

[Mr. Hannegan remarked: "Take him from 
ninongst the people, where we got one before."] 

Oh ! Ay, then he IS to be taken from among the 
people, is he — without resorting to such statesmen 
as those I have named? We shall see, however, 
whether the people agree to have this game played 
nfler a three year's notice. 

There is a mistake, however, Mr. President, in 
what the Senator from Indiana exclaimed, at his 
first sight of my imperfect picture. In my State, 
let me tell that Senator, wlicn Democrats talk of 
" thejieople,"wemean " themasses" — the " bone 
and smew" of the land, as distinguished from the 
statesmen, lawyers, politicians, and such like. In 
that sense, I deny that President Polk was got 
for n candidate from among " the people." He 
has been a politician all his life, and we knew it 
when he was nominated.- Thank God for it ! — 
he has now proved himself to have been more — 
one of the statesmen of this great country. And 
if he will only sUmd up by the side of Wash- 
ington, as he has done, and I hone he will do, he 
will be entitled to our lasting admiration. That 
sort (if fl:Utery to the people would not take at all 
with " the people" in my part of the world, and I 
should be sorry to think it would tii'kle the people 
very much anywhere. A man is no worse, as a 
man, because he docs not possess tlie learning and 
political experience which are requisite to fit him , 
for the station of Chief Magistrate of the United | 

States. Nobody pretends to that. But it is a 
great evil when everybody thinks he is fit to be the 
President; and if my friend from Indiana should 
stand up before a crowd of honest Democrats in 
my State and talk to "the people," the "real peo- 
ple," the "masses," there — the men who drive 
their own ploughs, make their own carts, &c., and 
quiedy pursue their occupation at home — about 
IDENT, they would do what /will not — laugh in 
his face, and tell him that he might as icell talk of get- 
ting a blacksmith to mend icatches. 

But let me ask the attention of Senator."* whilst 
I give to the Baltimore resolution a more par- 
ticidar notice. It has been often referred to in 
the Senate, and no one has answered. 1 be- 
lieve the Senator from Illinois [Mr. Breese] is 
entitled to the distinction of having first read it 
in the Senate. He did not have the Secretary 
to read it, but read it himself: Next year for 
the next step! The Senate, having no wish to 
misrepresent me, need not be asked to remember 
that I shall have nothing to say against the conven- 
tion or its members. The resolution which has been 
gravely read, and often relied u])on as deserving 
great weight and consideration in our deliberations, 
IS my subject; not the convention. The resolution 
on Oregon is simply this: The declaration of opin- 
ions by a party convention recommending those 
opinions to the people which were unanimously 
adopted by the conveiuion. That is its precise 
character. They are before me: 

" Resolved, That our title to the whole of Oregon 
' is clear and unquestionable; that no poition of 
' the same ought to be ceded to England or any 
' other Power; and that the re-occupation of Ore- 
' gon, and the re-annexation of Texas, at the ear- 
' iiest practicable period, are great American meas- 
' ures, which this convention recommends to the 
' cordial support of the Democratic party of this 

It is remarkable how this resolution has acquired 
so much importance now, when it was not even 
thought worthy of being communicated to Mr. 
Polk" at that time by its authors. I have before 
me, in Niles's Register, the letter informing him of 
his nomination, and expecting to elect him; and his 
reply accepts the nomination, hoping they may. 
That is about the whole of it. In good taste, and 
enough said. If any Senator wishes it, I will read 
the letters. Plere they are. But not a word about 
Oregon — not a syllable. No pledges made, and 
none required. In truth, we all know that the 
Baltimore Convention was not called to instruct or 
to express opinions for the party, but simply to 
you come round again to Mr. Polk's opinion 
voluntarily expressed before he was a candidate 
for President, and which he has not changed to 
this day. Of that I have already spoken. 

Then whom does tliis resolution biiid? Why 
brought into this Senate? But before you answer 
me, recollect there were two Baltimore conventions. 
[Some person said — " three. "] 1 know, but I don't 
count the Tyler Convention. [A good deal of 
laughter took place .at this remark, and Mr. H. 
said, " I mean no sneer — no offence to any one."] 
The fr/iig Senatoi-s, I suppose it will be admitted, 


are not bound by the Democratic Coiivenlion res- 
olution. [Mr. Dickinson, of New York, and 
others said, " Of course not."] Then that is settled. 
How is it with a Democratic Senator, whose State 
voted for Mr. Clay, and repudiated the Democratic 
Convention? That is my case. My State adopted 
the Constitution many years ago; and besides that, 
they refused to vote for Mr. Polk, or to approve this 
resolution in 184-1. What is it expected of ME 
to do.' To obey the Constitution, and follow the 
people of my State; or this resolution of a con- 
vention sent to Paltimore to NOMINATE A 
make CREEDS for the party.' [Some one re- 
marked, " Of course you are not bound as a Sen- 
ator."] Very well ; it is as a Senator I talk here, 
as a Senator I vote here, and as a Senator I heard 
these resolutions read here; and yet as a Senator 
I am not bound to heed them. That is a strange 
result after all we have heard of this matter. And 
in behalf of my Democratic neighbors, the Sen- 
ators from South Carolina, I would respectfully 
inquire whether they were bound, and how far.' 
— since South Carolina would not join the conven- 
tion, and had no delegates in it. [Several voices: 
"Oh, yes; her delegates came in after."] I under- 
stand it: South Carolina delegates came into the 
nondnafion. However, I suspect that much of all 
this, intended or not intended, will be used to aid 
the cry of "Punic faith" — "Punic faith," of 
which I shall speak hereafter. 

But in the next place, Mr. President, I presume 
to tell my Democratic associates who thrust this 
new CREED upon me as a test of orthodoxy in 
the party, that they seem to me not to understand 
it themselves, and it were as well to look to that 
before any cry of treason shall be got up, either 
against the President, or against the Senate, or 
against an humble individual like myself. I chcirge 
the Senator from Illinois, and all other Senators who 
subscribe this as a creed, and yet go for 54° 40', 
with insisting upon more than the Baltimore Con- 
vention have recommended the party to believe and 
do ; and here is my proof. It truly says that Texas 
and Oregon are " great »^merica?i" questions ! You 
insist ih'at Oregon is a "Western" question: and 
sometimes it is treated by you as a '^ party" ques- 
tion; and I am afraid that, by bringing it here, 
you will soon induce other persons (without Sen- 
ators intending it) to convert it into a very danger- 
ous presidential — sectional — anti-democratic, anti- 
Administration question, and teach others to PRO- 
SCRIBE those who cannot lay aside our original 
faith as we do our clothes; and, therefore, still be- 
lieve that this is an "e'J)HC7-ica?i" question, and that, 
likeTexas, the "twin-sister to Oregon," the bound- 
aries of Oregon ought to be left to a settlement by 
negotiation through the President and Senate of 
the United States — the only constitutional organs 
for treating with foreign Governments. 

But more than that, Mr. President: this CREED 
is in favor of the " RE-OCCUPATION OF ORE- 
GON." And that is what it recommended to our 
party. Ah! "re-occupation" — that's the word; 
not occupation, but re- occupation. Now, we can)iot 
"re-occupy" what we never "occupied" before. 
We never occupied the Oregon that lies north of 
the compromise line of 49'^ before, but the Oregon 

on this side of that line we have heretofore occu- 
pied. Therefore wc cannot re-occupy north of 49°, 
but we can i-e-occupy all south of that line ! And 
that is exactly what the President has been endeav- 
oring to do, and exactly what I am in favor of do- 
ing — ^^ fight or no ftght.'"' Sir,if a Democrat thus 
comes fully up to this creed by his action, what gave 
Senators here the privilege to denounce him as 
untrue to the Democratic ftiith.' This construction 
of the CREED is not hypercritical. What is " OR- 
EGON.'" The country (in the Columbia river and 
south of {/—all lying below the line of 49° — used 
to be Oregon. The old historians, maps, and ge- 
ographers all had it so. It is a thing of modern 
origin to call any part of the territory north of 49° 
"Oregon." There is, then, an old Oregon and a 
modern Oregon. The old Oregon was once occu- 
pied by us. Outside of that we have never occu- 
pied any portion of the modern Oregon; and there- 
fore, if this CREED had gone for an occupation of 
Oregon, it might well be construed "all of Oregon," 
old and neic. But as it only went for a " re-occu- 
pation,"it is as clear as day that the creed must 
be interpreted to mean the old Oregon up to 49°; 
that same Oregon which we once occupied; that 
same Oregon which lies south of 49°; that same 
Oregon which the DEMOCRATS all go for still;— 
only some of us are not anxious to fight for any 
more ! If we stand to the faith, and keep the bond 
as it was written for us, will not that suffice ? I 
think, Mr. President, I have disposed of the Balti- 
more resolution generally and specially. 

With unaffected pain did I hear a chai-ge of 
" PUNIC FAITH" brought and repeated against 
the South, in this Senate, with respect to this Ore- 
gon notice, &c., and in a way that challenged a re- 
ply to it. 

Personally I care nothing about it, as I voted for 
the Oregon bill last session; and some Senators 
know that my reason for voting against notice the 
session before was, that its form appeared to me to 
violate the Constitution. [Mr. H. here explained 
at length his objections to the form of that notice. 
He also excused himself for voting to take up the 
Oregon bill last session, by stating that if he had 
known at the time (as he does now) how the ne- 
gotiation then stood, he would not have voted for so 
much of that bill as proposed to take jurisdiction. 
But the Senate did not know the facts at that time, 
and they had not been told to him. He did not 
wonder at the offence that was taken by the Brit- 
ish Parliament, who, no doubt, believed that wc 
knew it all, at the time the bill passed the other 
House.] But I do not feel myself at liberty to 
let such an accusation grow into a proverb against 
the South. The South is my Home; and such 
accusations have a baleful influence in kindling 
and preserving sectional feelings: I shall, there- 
foi-e, expose its injustice, and then forbear. I 
sliall do that by the Journals of the Senate now be- 
fore mc. I will read from the books, if any of my 
statements should be questioned. This charge of 
"Punic faith," the Senate will remember, was in- 
troduced here some days ago, when the honorable 
Senator from Georgia, [Mr. Colquitt,] had spoken 
of the course of the Senator from Indiana [Mr. 
Hannegan] ujion the Texas question. The hon- 
orable Senator from Indiana said, in substance, as 


I I' Mil I liliii (I lidvn mil lilM WHi'ilw luilni't* 

nil') iIimI Im' IimiI liii MiiMiK lliiii' i|('<4li'iii1 M III fii'i'ii 
Mlitii lit i<ii|i|iilti liJH villi' ii)jiiln«l VVi'MD, Mini imw Iim 

IiihI II, llllll lIlMl II WMKI Mlllljlly liM'MllMI' llM llMll 

niH'Mi'Mii ••Mniiii- niiih riiiiii> hiiiii," 'i'iii> 

itl NiMiHi kIImm' lliiio, liMi illiMil IiiIIiiiiiIimI iIimI Iii> 

liMil nmiiil iIhiI I'iiiiIk hillh In Ilii' Mniilli DiIin 

Mi'llMliMM \\li» rnllllMlly I'IiIImiI III lllti II Ill Vllllll 

I'Mll' llllll r^i'llMllH, \iy llirlr MllllMlll'llhl, I'lliiWllIM 
lllltl h Itlly \VMI>INIIM'|ill<|lllNll|'llll'NlMllll,lil'wh|l>li 

I till mil riiiii|ilMln. AlliiMilliir llm i< |iIi<kIiiii 

«IHH III ihlM imilli'i III I'mM' lliM iiiiMli' m-M wii'i, llml 

lltli^ " I'imli' lliiih" liMil tiM'ii I Hi>il liy iimMii 

imiiM Niiiillii'iii HmimIhm lit' llii' I hmiiii iilh' lun III I 
iiml llii'NituiH'llv iililii' lmmintl<li>l'l|inMliii, II ni'i'in'i, 
i'IimIiIimI him |iii>mii|| tM>l\iii'liiiml, In lliiil wiiy lii' 

t"lll(ltll|l'l| lllfl villi' MflMlllMl 'I't'^IIW, 

Niivv, IMi I'li'fiiili'iil, iIii'ii'Im m tSi'nVH iiilNlitlii< In 
nil llil<4 ililna III ilm llMl |iliii'h, ll|ii NiMiMhir'Ki 

inoimiiy il IvmI lilm iii^ In lln> l)ii>l nl' lilf^i iiiii|i 

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hv >lhl ihil i'vli' Hi ,,ll I I'm ilin Tiitiim lli'NiilnliiiiiM, 

lIlK lll'm f^KflfUlllll, ||t> VIIIihI »fl I 'I'llK ,llinillM|l:)|||'l> 

lii'lUiK niM, mimI iIimhhmio I)ii>In, If I'linlniilliii'il, I 
will ii'iiil llin ynli'M, 

|l\ll ll»NNI'll\N H'llllUlu'll) "I WIIM lilI'Ml'lll, 

ttml iliil niii vm i ilii> iii'iiiv/'| 

Nil iliinlil III' II, liiii |iii.|^iiiii III' nlinriii wiiN Mil 
III!' siiitio, N.I Mjiiulii \(iin \VM<^ wiMlli liiivlnii ii|iiin 
{U\^ h'i'ttllh I\m' t'\i'iyliiii|y liiii'w <ii lit,' f-Uiiiilf, iil 
imiMl IVmii ihii lii',tiliinlii,ii, ilmi i|iii t,',„iij {u,\\\,\ nni 
mot, 'I'll!' Ni'iiiiliii' will iiilmll llllll. Tlmn wliiii 
]H\n\» hir \\\» I'liiiiMi' \» li'h r 

In lliii wi'i'itnil jilMi'i-, t\li, rii'piitiMil, 111!' ii'piiln 
llmi On imili'o.Ai^, mi Oii'ijiin wii>4 i'i>lt'ii|i'i| ni ilmi 

wortijinn liti|\iiii ilm /«ii»( I'l' (ViM'('i(/'(ii)i nil// li 

vvtt«ii',| Iliv..r»nn.l >.milln'''J|«|iin\liui'lil 

'riii'omiv.inlimi im'l mi «J'fi|| |\li\y I INnw, wliiil 
ilm^^i till' Miuiiiiiii' iitiiiK 111' iiiij nlmmo nt* " l'nnli> 
l^dili, I'nnli^llillhr" 

In lln> llilnl pjnoi., ovuiv HummMiilli* Mi'imliii 
wnvK /(I'll lhi> iwii iWim Nnnllt < 'nriillnn, IIMiiwwvm 
n ...I 1 . . 1 .. .i " .. 

llcnivH mill Mi'Umiiul |Ui ilio Uivunn 
viili> In llm Mi>niili> iil ihn hiiMwImi 

I'lll n|mn llui lii«l ,,.,>• ... ..... ,.,•......■ I., in.' .i.'Ri 

w lit'n 'ruSMW wiift |niM.iiii| iliivniili liy ilio rioiiiiim 'm 
vm.>. 'riiii Hiinnn.i r>mii |iii||,uim iil lluU ai-wwlmi 
In-M 'l'.-Mi«t In Ilia l)iinil Mn ><.•«/,' Amnl ' Wlllimii 
lilH \>ili> 11 I'iMilil mil liiivi' |HiH».>i| I Oii'iimi Im^KiHl 
(>m> viilo III nivvi* II, 'ruMiB Imi mn' vnliMi. Mil It, 
W'liiil I'liilm will lio f.1'1 n|< Hm' Rujinillv. uml n|imi 
\\\v\\ uinnn.U i^im In* mnlio iIiIm i^litim. nyndiftl llin 
Mmilli, wlii'n 111' IiimI imly lo |,nv.> mmln ilm |ii(i«f4iii.|i 
tit' lliit (»iiMiim l.ill It uln. t;m« tmii In IiIm vnlii |\ii 
'I\>\HH, „ml llm llilmj wmdil liii\.. Iitvn ilimi>, 
li.idt wmiltl luiM' |in.i,, m m>|||uM' TIk' (»rt>unn 
lilll iwnNi liiw.i |m«m>il iilwi»v« |ihivlili'(l, |\it onwld 
li.wt'Hitl H .M,nMM»iH>j MiiiNM'im III mnlvo mwh « 
l»it»t!mn wlllt lilml I In lutil lini Iwn Nnnnhn-« m 
limli' Willi, l\it' ttll lint ivnt nr n<4 voli'il l\n' lln>Oi>r 

fi'ttn lull w nliitni « piiw, 'I'lmt |\i> iliil m.i ili'lvn o 
im>Hi>m i\«i Ohvviin Ix im i^itn.Mnn nl" n>lnt>, 

|M»\ Hv\tvt...n hi>iv Miinlvti nl' Me, \\vmw wn 
«n nlt«t»ni Ai.'u.l, whi.m lit> |t.M<il m.i wt-ll mX in 
Mml(t>nlt> Kji.nm'l m\|nil ni»|>t>v>»li>nM, umi wiiMnlmnl 
lt> i»i'.»>t>oili wln>n 

^li. MvNNiHtiVM III nni>o Inlttfwpl.Ml litm liy (i\- 
itttw..ii,ii Oil' ItltiltKxi i«i|i\in',tilm\ itml iT«|it'i'i Ww 
Ml III i.t'H, i\ml tli.ii\iiwi'il (ill i^'iM'l urinli'iili.m l > 

lin|inli> In lilm iiii tii^l, ni' nvii n ilmni:',lil mI' iIm. 
mIIuIiIi'mI ilinlmimi' iid i\ iniiii nc ii Kiniiliir, | 

Ml Ihvivimii I niillnni'il, 'I'linl Ii4 unmi^lii 

Ml, I'li'i^tlilinl, 'I'liii iiliii'i I Iilti Mtiiiiiliii' 

I' I Miinili (tiiiiilimi I Ml'. Mi'|)iim''M<i| In ln<i'ii. 

nml vi'iy mIiIk in vinilliiilii lilim-ii.||', ||' Im ||ilnli<4 i| 
\» ii'ijnli'iMl. lint I llllll In liJi>lmi' i.i|i|i'm, 'I'IiIm Im 
mil II |i|MiiFtiinl mi(<, 

Mr. rii'sliliml. Ill t'lmilim tn tlm (tiiiii<liiNliiim I 
liMvn, nml wlilill lllivn ImMi ^)i|in<NNMl In llitiHiMtiili' 
willimil nvKNlmi nr illi^finlMi'. iiiiil In liililti^' my 
nlmnl, Mtt I liiilli'VC. iilmiuwiilP uf llin li'.HWUtlvc 
ili'|Mnliimiil III' llm (vlnvi'innit'iil, I limli mi rmiiiMi'l 
III' (hi'iil Itrliiilii'M Mli'i'iii^lli III iiihlti' im> r(i(Wi' 
Ibmi llin I'Sli'i'iimf^l I'liilm nl' tny nwn rmiiili'y. 
VVmti II MlilM(*l),(ii liny Mlill WHiltt'i nml nmi'it 
illMlnii'lnl ((iivi'iimnml, It' I liimw my ntvii ln'iii'l, 
ml I II. IK I'liim II llnni I wimlil 

I wimlil 
InnlKil III 

inr iliililw, Hill' 

Chlni^l (ji'niii 

I llllll' iii.)lilM, |ii>M ilily nml In lnvn, I'' 

ni'lllii'i, nml tVnni im nllii'i' ( liivinnim'nl In llii> 
sviirlil, wmilil I Inlin wlinl wm^ iml limmrnlilt' I'nr 
my nwn In ili'imiiiilt mn'iin In wiir wIlli nny niillnit 

Wn' t'lllii'i n |i|iiltlnlil ' iin nn|iriilllnliln wi'ima, I 

iniial lii> |iniilniii'il, llii<ri'Oii'i<, l)ii' (Jlvln^ iillmimi'n 
III iliK t^i'iiilimnl, lluil tin iti'i'iiwillnn nf lliU lilml 
nunliiHl mil nwn (^l\l>lnnll'nl wnn imlllii'i' |n»l imi' 

|iiililii||i<, 'I'lm ii'Ml III' llm wi'niil will 

111 I'lipiy In |ii'r«nniln, Willi Aini'ili'ini Hi>imliir« in 
llit'in, llllll mil' I'linnli'v l<^ 


Iriii't llit'in, llllll mil' I'minli y U mi'iin l'nlln^ll li 
ii|iiiri>NF] llm wi'iili. nml Inn t>iiwniilly in nriNi'il mii' 
I'l^iil):! iijjnlnMl llm Ftlinnii, Mrnnl Iti'ilnln will linni 
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ii'ni|i>i'lii(s "nil iit'Oii'Hiin" willnml i\ IImIiI, *<\i'ii II' 
II nlimilil linnnun lli<i'iiFiMi\i'y l\ii' Iiit In IImIiI wh inlti 
ale ImmliMl iWi' il, 

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ii'|i|'nlinlii llm Mnnilmi'nl kI' Imlinl in mi'v milinn 
IIM n ninllvn [\\\' ^o\\\^ l>m It m> nnllni llum llii' 
nlll<rni| tMini|ii'innlNM, 

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i^lnnllv |inl\in' iiw, nml wlin^n iinnm pliniilil I'vm In' 
liift tmlnuy In nn Anmi'liMin HiMinli> (lI'lrHMIK 
WANIIlNd'nMN in liii> liiMi wni'it.^ In llmrmiii 
iry, Inuiilil us " //tii< //♦(.' nn/lnii ii'/ili7( Im/ii/iicn /n- 
n'lniN itni<//tiit' /niMtn.i/ iiMiuni Ik In uniMti i/r^'i'oi< o 
M\\i',"i\ml llm hi'i'lmnllnn nl' Aim-Wi'ini lmli'= 
mniili'iiiHi Imw Mimi'lllliil il im n iinliiii'iil innsininr 
iKirt i.'imlillo, " h hi<UI «.'m»/ />W/i(ln. n* n't- h,'U llk,< 
t'l W ii/' tmtnAiiti'i i'iNiiiMM>>> |imly| in w,\m, Iml in 
|n>in>n i'niwNmi.'' 'rimi'n Im imlliln^llml Imti Iniimloil 
nil' In tln'^nl, nml imlliin^ r^linll (ti'lvi> nn* In vinli\lt<, 
llm (>nnnmil ni'my i>nnnli y 'm llilln'r. nni' lliiw l^imln 
nnmlnl nnwini nt*l^'l'l' Aini'ili'ini InplilnllniiPi, Ni'l 
lltm- will I Inindi llm inMiiiln Iniln II, Unml iniMi 
iMiuM iini n|i|i|i\ml 111(1 Nnniiln t'nr II, IIi'uv.'H 
vvnnlil iinl i'\imimi> Iin |ivm'lli'nl n|i|ilti>i\llnn, mn Oill, 
|ii'rlnt|iFt, In vIhII |I\i> itniiHi i|m'mM<M nimn lln> nnlinn 

Willnml w«>lii,\$ Inlntmi' llllr< lit \\w T<>i'i'llm>y, 
(\vl»li>lu It' liH' Miniolt* thnitwn, onu Un iltnm l\i'n> 
nOi>i' nml wln'ncMM' llm Mil l\n' liiKlny t'"'f""''ll'"> 
nviM' Oi'tiRnn, tii' "nny imillnn »»!' Il,'* I'nmi'ii ti|t 
t\ii' (>nn«Mi>ri\lli'n.^ I will It'll y.m. in \.m'v I^w 
wnnN, llm m'linml nl' clalil \i|i'im w lilivli ^il'' llmi't> 
wnH' nn nlinn '> I w nnl<l inil mv v imll.'diinn, I ln' 
llt<\.< il li^ lln> imlilii'iil lUltMf'I'nl'mv iMiinli'v l.> 
«livlrli llnoll' willnml nny inli'dnplinn I'v Wwh.w 


Ooverntfiniilrt (Votri llui AthuiU; Ut din Vncil]t:-^ 
fVoffI «M< I" P''ii "II lliift (^(in()in'i(l-^ii''''.(ii'(llii^ MR wn 
mirm'iv'p mIimII JMil!',!' ii (iX|-('(ll('iil, or (Kil, Tlml. 

WUlK'ijtlirlil (linl II IM irr (l|rnri l.liJ!^ coiitiiil'lil: wIlOII 

(Kir INI>|i;I'KiN|)|<;n<'.K wm« (>Hli(«li(wl, Ri(l.|(wl, 
only (« Umi |ri(iviMii, (Jidt, w'» iiikrI iicI. <Io il ho kh (o 
(iMiy iIk' lilui (M ivilcjio lo (Mir ii(i(;;r|ili(ii'M, ikm' inlcr- 
(iii'O willi w(ltl(iiii('ii(«|i('riimii(iiitly khkIo lidCdrc (»(ir 
l(i(lc(i(>(((li'iir(i W(if» (isl/iMifilicd, (i(»r wllli Rimiliir 
rt(/lil« Ik Idiifjiny (<i (ir iicimhcd liy lli'in, imr n»l 
•wTUi iiiJHRticii Ui l\ii^ ,'lliiinKinin. 'Wlinl wo clniiii 
tt iifoirc 1(1(1(1, W(i iiiKwt. iKil, deny (,(i iIkWIawahak. 
Il iw (I Mdrl (d' Niilioiml pro ('iti|ilJ«iii ri^lil lo linlli, 
(licni. Hrllftlii ciiMiml^ rl(j;lii(ti(i«ly (■<iiri|ilMlii ftn 

Idlia HFt Wn (in Mill (loiiy In licr, (ifa llin inollidr 
(VKiiilry ('/' llin (iAMAliAS, llid fiiiitic rl/ilil, ('(|i(nl|y 
wllli (iiirftdlvi'f^. Wild ciiiiiKil rlkliU'iilly irilii(rii|il 
(iiir Mitnyim-iil (iT llml ilj^lit. /\ii(l ir fjIki (Iocfi, 
lli(>i. wo (!ANNOTKII|',Mn'T() IT. (»iir divi- 
(liii.i; lino \f> III '111" on iIiIr wliln (.1' llic iiiiMiiilMiiiR; 

( iril if) ftli'(iljj|il(Mi('(l li. llic IVcillc. Oil llic (iilicr 

ill iMiriiiiiiiy, W(i iiiiijlii III III' cnlinlli'il, In F^i'lljinii 
Hull lino lii'lwdcii lliii Ivvd (JiivoriniiciiM, llio {irmil 
InW (if " InVii hill! Wind will In iiinii'' ri'i(i(li'('« cim 
dCfifsiddft Cdi' (MMilviili'iilfi, Id lie utircdd I'nr liy niiiliinl 
Cdiiwi'iil, niid llicy plmnld Im iiiiilimily nindc Tur Ilio 
('dnvriiiciicc' n|' m\v\i nilirii mikI iIicpo lire 111 mili 
Joi'Ifi I'lir IVi(iiidly iK'tiiiliMlidn. 

'riiiR Ml null',' Mr. I'lrwidnil, nrn tiidro liiinilinr 
Willi llic ddi'Irliirw mihI llin li'iuiiln^f nC IkkiIim /iIkhiI 
I'l'iilifritilji mill I'iiiiOiillllil limit I iM'dD'WR In Im; miiiI 
liii'V iiiijilil Wdll rnni|ilMlii df mo il' I ciiliirfrrd ii|idii 
llii.Kn |ii|iii'fi. My OdiiMliliioiils tiro (I |ilniii i'0|miIi 
liiiiii |ioii|i|o, will! SiOiH'iiilly (Id iidl cmo In Ko on 
ll;;liloiii'd liy rikiIi Iroolli^oft. A« mmiy nl' llicm iif^ 
(In, will I'oml I'lM' llioiiiRi'lvow. My llio'< IniiRliltilidii 
tlioy liHVo onlriirttod llio miihliiii I'lT 'IMt lOA'TllOW 
will! llio l'i(>widoiil iiiidMoimlo, Tlioy nro tanllRUnd 
with Iho CoiittilittlKii HI It ;,<i, mill iKilridlli'nIly (IIm- 
|iiiMod ill mII |im'lii<i^ In liilio Fiidoi^ vvilli llioir cniiii- 
Iry. I inoiiii "Iho l'on|i|(>"m'o. 'Hioy wilMool (iiid 
tiiiilorRliiiMl ihirt (ifjflorlidii t\{' our rij'Ji'l In f,;rnw mid 
iiuilll|*ly wlioii in llio|M'iivliloiii'Pi>r(Joil ihooniinlry 
Wi\nl« III ill. ||,| mill I ildiilij iiiii it will vinilii'iilo mo. 
A I Hiiy I'lilo, Ihoy |iiil llio ill Ihift MoiKxIo In tuM dii 
to l\(lv|po iho I'rofiiih'nl iicodidint) In my IionI jiidfv 
iiioiit, Ujidii tlio rosiioiipiliilily dC my nwn' nm 
soioiioo, mid I Rlinll finvoni I'liysoll' iii'i'nnliimly ; 
lUHiiMiiilolilo Id (.^iil ihol my nid'livoN nro ijt'dd. in 
my miwdiliiioH ihiit mv pi'ioooIi ho iVnnk, In tho 

i.odi.iodiiiv (hni I ho lu<lirr. 

Whiil Iho Olid drtlioMolhiii^;f4 niuy ho, irilioMon- 
nlo bIiiiII onmo In llio umiio oniioliiRinn willi mo, 
IiiiibI do|>oiid ii|idii llio odin'So (Irnil Urllniii moy 
(Mirsiio, or mi\y iml |mi'mio, iijuiii Iho snhjorl id' n 
Odiinu'iimiso. (M* Hull I Kiidw tinlhlnji'.' I inily 
Idmvv vvhiil f>ho oiuair In i|n, mid ihiil. I Ii'iiirI Iii 
(Jud fdio will ill., (^110 Ihliifi' i» o(.;rit\lii— U will 
ln'liiM' 1114 Id iho Olid, ir II (liioHi iml uiil iiogiilintidii 
il will mil hllidor il, 

I holiovo (Iroiil Mrltuin donlros |ionoo, l.oomiRO il 
l« hor liiioi'o<al Id ih. Il, I lor Miiiislor in wllli hoir- 
ihoMiiiirtlon.r I'oooo- iho Mliilslor dl' Poihm> ft'nm 
n ('hi'if*liun |iodiilo iiitd it Chrisllmi Odvonimont, 
Why phdiiltl wo ddiil.t Iho I'osiill f llo will hm'il 
ly lOKVo hol'di'o hr lijis 111 loiiRl lidil iiS whal ifi ihiit 

"FUin'MKU I'ROIU'^.M. MoUl''. (X)N8lH'r. 


wlii'h lio l.nifitcd llic. Anicrii'dn Clnvornmorii wniild 
iiiiikn Id him, (////. 1 1, (!!),) Hir, llic civili/.c-d world 
would oxoiriilo Ihi! Mininlors oi' holli (idvo.rnmoiila 
ir iIiIh ri(^ii;dlinl.idii wlmidd ho Icrrnirwrlod (i|idn miy 
|idiri(. dl' jiorRonnl or dii' tauivi'/iTf,. rihriM- 
lidii liirids dro mil l.o ho involved in Wdr« dl. ihiw ihiy 
(or llio iidiwinnl y;lY/((,(i of iticir dj^diilw. MiniwIorH 
ol'liodoo do iidl Rcolt oociiFiidn (or d (jiidrrol; Iml, if 
rodlly ini'linod lo ('dr(i()roirilRC, Ihoy would ho lool(- 
od l(|idii iiH iriiporiihio liwiijrlnii^ when cilhor or holli 
of ihoiii riimidl, lind in llioir dwn coriofsiiondorico, 
or olwowlioro, d ronwon nr it proloxl (or m/ikin^ miy 
oD'or tlidl would |irovodci'o].ldlilolo holh. Ic tkhiiii 
iiif, ANV Biiod, lodVo dll llml lo Ihom, (uid Ihoro let 
iJio roF)|ionFiiliilily i'i^nI, iindividod hy wfi. 

This iiidllor odii ho coniiiromifiod, if ihe Ivvo 
(invi rnnionls dro willing' I" do il. fC aroni Ihil- 
diii doofi nol, inloiid t(i oom|iromiRO, wo onj;til lo 
liiiow il; lol hor not. hovo ihooxi'tiso for il llml Iho, 
I'loRidi'iil. WdH dgdiiist, " ((// rompi^oiii'inci" hiil in 
Ciivor dC" dl! ()rot:oii or none," She rIioII nol ho 
jiormiMod In Riiy llml llml, miRi-oiiRlriicliim oC llm 
Amorii'dii f'rcRldoiil, dllhdiij^h prooldimod in Iho 
Amoiicmi .Mrniilo hy Rome Hondtni'R, wiiR noillier 
rohiiod nor I'diilriidirloil l>y miy dihor, 

TliiH iidliiMi m lid ihronl. iil dli; iinil I ih. nol ox- 
|iorl il, IR oilhor Id inlimidiilo (Jrnil Ihilnin or In 
dn'ond hor. Iliil, hilhorli. noilhor dl" Iho Iwn (Inv- 
oriimonls RooniR In hiivo fully rodli/.od Iho iiociRRily 

.,.,.,, ..I,-, f^. ■ ,,.,^ ... ,,,,.. ..i.._|. . ^ ....... .. ■ ■ 

f loniiiiidlin(r IIiIr IorI cdiiRo nf (liRjinlo holwi 
Ihom, iind dl O|ioiiin{r Iho wiiy wider for iho nil 
liviilinii (tf d |ioiiiimioiil tidlidnid oniirdi'd. 

VVhnlovor nmv ho //(c/r odiirRO dr//irirodiidilinii, 
il RooiiiR In mo ihdl WIC di'o lid loniror lofl nl IIImm'- 
ly Id (idp|(iimo d lliidl Roltlomonlof ihid whole eon- 
Irovoi'Ry dhoiil Oroy'dii. Tho |iiihlie will, ox|ireaR- 
0(1 lhrdtip,li Ihoir inimodidlo doloonloR in Iho oilier 
I I'oiiRo, IR very odiioliisivo ii|idn llml pninl, An- 
dlhor I'losidonlidl eloelidii. diid every olhor (iiiofi- 
liim will hr nuido .'^iihdrdiniilo In lliis'diie fur "Owr 

rho |inlilii' miiiii, iihriidy |iri-nroii|iioil hy oiie- 

idoil ,.!',. 
y'dii. will I 

,^ Ir li.lhowhdiodf Ore- 

^ lo Id iliNiMiRR il; Iho |ieo|)lo 

will liooM'ilod mid mi.'^ilod hy iloniiiieidtinnR iiiVdiiiRt 
ovory mmi whi. Iin,=! Iho nidriil ri.nrd;^' lioroiil'ler lo 
diMil'.lil.mid oven lmi,«;hlldi'.i.ll him, ^[^-''I'.riliRh;" 
Iho |iruiloiii'o of di;e will ho deerieil iin tho eimii 
roIr df i\ foroif,'!! iiilUioiiee hy n hired jiroRs; llio 
wlRilom dl'RluloMmon will ho Holiisido hy Iheolam- 
(M'R df roIIirIi iloiiin!Jd;:;iieR; (ho love of poiu'o end 
tho four of tJdd doiidimrod hy DietidiiR, mid vilified^ 
hy polf-oniiRtiiniod nsRdeiiilionH, hr iho eownrdieo of 
IriiilorR and the dirootdlidil of hy|.(>eiiRy. li will 
Pddii hoedliK^lhiMinhdly vvorK of miiiifnrwilod iiarly 
R|m'il,iiidod hy |iorRi.iinl miihitidii, tdoioiitomiil |iid- 
diii'o III our lidii|iy Odiinlry lhi.<*, mid nnu'li mnro 
Ihnii ihiRi— nil, hr l d|.|'relioiid, for iho Riiko of [uil- 
liiir jjroni moil down, mid ovallinj;: lilllo men lo 
liijiii j.lai'os, lUdi'O ihaii ii will ho'for the imr|.dso(.f 
Roi'iinii!^' onr iiiilimial rij^hlR. Hoiiiilor.'^ and olIiorR 
win. would worn lo piny Iho ^iimo (\ro ineaiilioiiRly 
fui'iiiRliliiK the (Mii'dR— ",\ll of Oioii'on, or nono" — 
I'nr (itlo i.>( " eloar mid unimoRlionahlo" — "The 
AdmiliisliiUioii is with \ir'— "nnwii with iho 
Iroai'horoiiR /)fmiirn(/or"nriliRh"Wliir; who oi.oiis 
liiR mimlh for eoid/iromi.vr .'" TIioro erioR will bo 


so many obstacles to Peace! — honorable peace. 
As we would keep the power over this subject in 
the hands to which the CONSTITUTION has en- 
tiTistcd it; as we would protect the trust committed 
to the Senate, and do our whole duty to the 
cause of liberty regulated by law, to God, and 
to our consciences — I think the Senate should aid 
to bring this controversy to a conclusion, in some 
way or other, as soon as possible. Another year, 
and it may be too late to settle it in peace. Another 
three years' delay, and it tcill not be settled without 
a dreadful conflict of political agitations at home, 
and perhaps a desperate war between two Christian 
nations. God deliver us from both! 

If the trusts of this body under the Constitution 
must be carried for discussion beforehand to the 
court-houses and party caucuses of the land — if we 
must encounter the agitations and perils and bitter- 
ness of a popular ordeal, in our foreign affairs — 
will not the Senate agree that it is safer and wiser 
to take care that the pleadings shall be made up so 
as to present the TRUE ISSUES? Notice or no 
notice is an old question — predetermined and pre- 
judged; and the peace of the country can hardly 
be preserved if we suffer that to be the issue which 
goes before the country. Let us give the notice, 
then, to the President's hands, before the negotia- 
tion is closed, and, if tliere is a compromise, the 
question will go to the people upon that. The re- 
sult is, to my mind, neither doubtful nor fearful. 
If no compromise that we can accept with honor 
shall be offered now, it never will be offered; and 
then we shall soon have the whole subject before us, 
and can take such steps as will protect our rights 
and carry this question into ourjjopular elections 
upon fair and true issues. But there has been a 
doubt excited lest the President might abuse the 
notice after we have authorized it, and you hesi- 
tate. Is there not more danger from our delay, 
than in any trust we may repose in the Executive 
by giving him the use of this notice, even if he 
should abuse it? Friends of the Administration — 
Democrats — surely WE can confide it to him, 
else we ought not to be his friends. Confidence is 
not to be expected with so much alacrity from those 
who have been his political opponents, especially 
when some of ourselves have misconstrued the Pre- 
sident. But, Whigs of the Senate, do you still 
doubt his position? Do you fear he may abuse 
this notice after it is given to him, (as it lias been 
said he would,) by abruptly closing negotiation, 
and even refusing his own offer for a compro- 
mise at 49°, should it be returned to him? To 
such as are resolved to stand by him AT THAT 
ERS, do I appeal. I have said already that if 
you do not mean to stop concession at that line, 
you do right in refusing the notice. He cannot 
speak upon that point; official propriety forbids it, 
as I have already said and proved. But here 
is a guaranty. Let him but venture to occupy 
that position contrary to your hopes and expect- 
ations. Let him only attempt to betray the 
confidence you put in his conduct. (Oh! he 
will not do it. I feel like I was defending a friend's 
honor, when I say again, and again, and again, 
that this construction CANNOT be true.) But 
what if he should attempt it? The country will 

yet be safe. He might embarrass the Senate, but 
he would destroy himself. The moment he does 
it, the whole subject will, by the Constitution, pass 
out of his hands, and fall EXCLUSIVELY INTO 
OURS. The Legislative, and not the Executive 
department, will thenceforth have it in charge; 
with no change but the abrogation of a convention 
that it were rashness in us to continue longer in 
force. We have a majority here for peace, and for 
every honorable means of preserving it — no more, 
but all that — men who, I am sure, would defy fac- 
tion, and laugh at demagogism in the crisis of their 
country's fate — Democrats and Whigs, all patriots 
and together upon an " AMEPJCAN" question. 
And the bill for extending our jui-isdiction over 
Oregon need not to be, as it ought not to be, adopt- 
ed, until we see what more the President will do, 
and what Great Britain means to do. And this Senate 
ought not to adjourn until we know whether we 
are to have PEACE or a SWORD. IT SHALL 
NOT BY MY VOTE. It would not be becom- 
ing in me to undertake to advise how we ought to 
act in such a case upon subsequent measures. 
Though I do not admire the common use of Scrip- 
ture quotations in political speeches, the subjectand 
the occasion appear to be solemn and impressive 
enough to excuse me for saying- upon that point, 
" Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof." 

I come now to invite the attention of the Senate 
to some of the several forms in which it has been 
proposed that this notice shall be authorized. The 
resolution reported from the Committee on Foreign 
Affairs was ^ot at all objectionalile to my mind in 
the outset. For nothing on its face do I now think 
that resolution objectionable. But other Senators 
were not satisfied v/ith it, and preferred to pursue a 
different form of words; and I have held myself 
ready at all times to adopt any form that might be 
more acceptable to others, so long as the substance 
was not sacrificed. If I could desire to put Sena- 
tors of any party in a false position upon a ques- 
tion of this kind, I should despise myself. The 
resolution and preamble offered by the Senator from 
Kentucky, [Mr. Crittenden,] when it was pro- 
posed, seemed to me to arrive at the object, sub- 
stantially, by another form of words, perhaps bet- 
ter, perhaps not; any way, I was, at the begnming, 
and I am now, contented to take that. I like it — I 
approve it. But I should like to see it altered by 
striking out the proviso which delays the notice 
until after the present session of Congress. My 
reasons have been already stated. Should they 
make no impression upon the judgment of the 
Senate, I do not expect to make that proviso 
a reason for voting against that amendment. The 
preamble, although not originally necessary, was, 
perhaps, expedient, on account of the course of 
the debates which sprung up in the Senate, and 
connected themselves with OREGON; and the in- 
troduction of the proposition of the Senator from 
Kentucky [Mr. Crittenden] was at once a wise 
and patriotic movement, to check the progress of 
unnecessary alarm in the country. With the lights 
at that time before us, I think it was so. Though 
I knew nothing of it until it was proposed by him, 
in my heart I tiianked him for it. That Senator is 
a better judge than I am, whether all the valuable 
and patriotic purposes designed by him have not 


been fully accoiiiplislied. The difference be- 
tween authorizing the President to give the notice 
at his distrelion, and a law annulling the treaty and 
directing him to give the notice, does not seem tome 
to be very material; and if it were, I would suggest 
that the House resolution leaves it to his discre- 
tioii, as well as the resolution of the Senator of 
Kentucky. I am willing to vote for either of the 
three, as may be most agreealile to others. 

The amendment suggested by the honorable 
Senator from Georgia, [Mr. Colquitt] I cannot 
vote for — the last resolution. I sat down to ex- 
amine it, with a sincere desire to approve, if I 
could; but I cannot, and I regret it on many ac- 
counts. The words are as follows: 

"Sec. 2. dml he it further resolved, That it is 
' earnestly desired that the long-standing contro- 
' versy respecting limits in the Oregon territory 
' be speedily settled, by negotiation and compro- 
' mise, in order to tranquillize the public mmd, 
' and to preserve the friendly relations of the two 
' countries." 

I object to this, because, although circumstances 
may make it proper or excusable in a Senator or 
Senators to express his or their individual opinions 
upon a negotiation in a debate, yet this Senate as 
a Senate ought not to do it, and we ought not to take 
charge of a negotiation pending at the Executive 
Department. The Constitution has left all that to 
the President, unless he asks the Senate for ad- 
vice; and that advice should then proceed from the 
Senate alone, acting in Executive session, not from 
Congress. This Senate may be more competent 
to conduct a negotiation than President Polk, but 
the CONSTITUTION has determined that matter 
otherwise; and, " by the Constitution," President 
Poik is the wiser and safer negotiator. We must 
not gainsay that by our resolutions as a Senate. If 
It be our right, I should question the expediency of 
giving any advice unasked. If we were ever so 
competent by the Constitution to give the advice 
unasked, and it were not inexpedient to do it for 
other reasons, yet it is entirely unnecessary in this 
case. The negotiation is pending upon the basis 
of " comp-omise," and we have the President's de- 
claration to the British Minister that he has " de- 
termined to pursue it to a concl;!sion" upon that 
basis. Indeed, Senators know that after the basis 
v;as once arranged by mutual consent, it was not 
in the power of one of them to change that basis, 
without the consent of the other, or else termina- 
ting the negotiation. 

i object to it further, because if the SENATE 
has a right to advise, and it would be prudent and 
wise to give the advice, still it cannot be pretended 
that CdNGP..ESS has such a power under the 
Constitution; and it is one of the first and highest 
duties of the Senate to protect the peculiar trusts 
which, under the Constitution, ajipertain to it, and 
not to admit, much less to invite, the House of 
Representatives into partnership for advising the 
President upon our foreign affairs. By "adding 
this amendment to a joint resolution, we violate 
that duty ourselves, and consent to and invite an 
encroachment upon the Senate; and that forms to 
ray mind a conclusive objection. Were there no 
oilier, it ought to prevail. 

I object to it further, because, if it is intended 

as a declaration of our " earnest desire" made to 
a foreign Government, and addressed to it; then it 
is very unusual, if it be not a reflection upon our 
Chief Magistrate. Pie is the " only mouth" of 
this Government to speak to other nations; and 
he has already told Great Britain that he " de- 
sires" a compromise. Once is enough. I would 
give no room for an inference that we distrust- 
ed him or his peaceful purposes. It is proper 
that we should give him the moral weight of our^ 
Legislative opinion by act or resolution for notice, 
and leave him to use it the best way he can, but 
still responsible for any abuse of it. There I hope 
we shall stop. Give all the aid he asks, but offer 
no impediments. Thenceforth I would make no 
more calls for correspondence, but leave the Min- 
isters to carry through the negotiation. Our calls 
may be embarrassing to both "of them. They are 
not calculated to aid our own. 

There is another objection to this resolution, that 
is conclusive to my own mind, and I ask particu- 
lar attention to it. If I interpret it aright, it advises 
a compromise between 49^ and the Columbia river. 
Now to that / cannot agi-ee. In the 6th protocol 
are these words: The British Minister said '^ that 
' he did not feel authonzed to enter into a disctission 
' respecting the territory north of the i9th parallel 
' of latitude, ivhich ivas understood by the British 
' Government to form the basis of negotiation on the 
' side of the United States, as the line of the Columbia 
'formed that on the side of Great Britain." 

To this, I apprehend, our Government assented 
by signing the protocol, and Mr. Pakenham has 
ever since treated the matter accordingly. Then 
the " pending controversy " respecting limits is 
U)iderstood to be a controversy whether those lim- 
its shall be settled at 49°, or at the Columbia river; 
and our advice to settle it by compromise would be 
advice to compromise, viz: to give and take for a line 
between these two. I do not say it was so intended; 
I am sure it vv^as not. But see how much difficulty- 
there is in agreeing upon our construction of the 
Message. Shall we not multiply embarrassment 
by every step of our interference with negotiation ? 

Suppose that mine was not the proper interpre- 
tation of this resolution. It must be admitted not 
to be free of doubt. That is sufficient to con- 
demn it; for it may mislead Great Britain. Her 
Minister may understand it as I do, and the con- 
sequence will be that no offer that we can accept 
will be made. 

Upon the whole, I submit to the Senate that the 
House resolutions, under all the circumstances 
now surrounding this subject, had better be adopt- 
ed by the Senate. Their second resolution is but a 
proviso excluding any inference that that House 
designed by the first one to obtrude into a subject 
belonging to the President and Senate. It was 
perhaps riglit for them to say so. It was l)ut say- 
ing to us and to the President, "As a negotiation is 
pending, and this House claims no right to inter- 
rupt it, we have taken care to declare that negotia- 
tion is a matter with which the people's Represent- 
atives in the House do not hereby intcr])ose." 
And, at the same time, the vote on their part im- 
plied the absimce of any hostility to negotiation. 
Upon this subject, and at this stage ofh,ncgo(iaiion 
means compromiw. From that there is no escape. 


Tlie great reason why I would entreat the Senate 
to take the House resolutions, so free of objection 
n,^ they arc, is this: 

The ilifiei'ence, if any, in favor of either of the 
other jiropositions over those from the House, is 
not to be comjiared to the inconvenience, using no 
stronger expression, which the sending of this di.s- 
cussion back to the other House will produce in 
thjE country, and the ceriain delay and probable 
^embarrassments it will lead to in pursuing the ne- 
gotiation. The whole subject is with the Senate — 
with the Senate I leave h. 

Mr. President, I have now concluded what I had 
to say. I must be more or less than a man if I 
felt so indilTerent to the kind and flattering atten- 
tion of the Senate for two days, as not to express 
my gratitude for it. I have spoken plainly of 

firinciples and things — I hope not too much so. 
t is difficult, I know, to do that without an ap- 
pearance of disrespect to those I answer. But 
an attack upon errors of opinion is no assault 

upon the persons holding them. In my lieart 
there is nothing of unkindness. If I had not been 
placed, most reluctantly, in an attitude where I 
must speak, or be misunderstood; if I had not 
been goaded by repeated declarations which I 
could not assent to, and which, if correct, I knew 
would force me to oppose the Administration, and 
to abandon a friend, and which, if not cori'cct, it 
was my duty and my right as a Senator to refute 
in free debate — I should not have opened my mouth. 
If this performance of an unavoidable duty should 
leave me exposed to misrepresentation, I must 
bear it. My hands arc clean — my heai-t is easy — 
my conscience is unburdened; and if I have done 
anything for good I shall rejoice — if not, I have 
tried to do it. And having confidence in God 
stron2:cr than any " confidence in princes," I jiray 
that HE who rules the destiny of nations may 
guide our counsels so as to save the peace of my 
beloved country, and protect it forever by His 
mighty arm in the enjoyment liberty and religion. 

L^???^^ O*^ CONGRESS 

017 187 210 8 J 



00171872108 ^